‘NIFT’s Hiked Fee of Rs 1,31,600 is a Burden Amid the Pandemic’
The institute’s ‘Social Media Policy’ has curbed our freedom of speech to share our problems online.
Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
Video Producer: Aliza Noor
We, the students of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) have expressed our concerns regarding the increase in the fees and the apathy from the institute authorities to address the same. Moreover, because of the Institute's social media policy, it has been difficult to share our problems online.
Quality education should not come at the cost of our daily food. Over 11,000 students across 16 campuses are mentally stressed in the current situation.
The issue started in the last week of July. We received a circular appealing us to pay the fees before 7 September. We mailed the higher authorities that it is not possible for some of us to pay such a huge amount.
The agitation here is as to how they have also included the mediclaim, library fees, tuition fee, when their services and commodities, whether it’s their computer or software, internet or food, nothing is being utilised.
Salaries of my parents have been halved. The condition is so bad that now we have to switch to a lower quality of rice just so they can make ends meet. And during this difficult phase, the college only seems to care about their profits and money-making.
Many a times, we have highlighted the issues to the college authorities via mails and messages but we have not received any reply.
We have students in our college who have single parents, who have no source of income especially, during this pandemic.
Social Media Policy – A Gag on Freedom of Speech
Recently, NIFT released a 'Social Media Policy' which threatens severe disciplinary action which includes, debarment from exams, suspension and even expulsion, if the students were found to be maligning the institution or its policies on social media.
There are many issues with the policy, most importantly that it directly curbs our freedom of speech. Noting the case of the case of Shreya Singhal vs Union of India, the Supreme Court had clearly stated that clauses in social media policy that limit free speech are unconstitutional.
However, many students have been prevented from protesting and voicing their fears online.
Boycotting Online Classes
In view of no concrete response from the institute regarding our concerns, we have decided to boycott the online classes that were scheduled to start from 3 August.
Since the commencement of the boycott, many campuses have actually threatened students with disciplinary actions, if the boycott is a means of protest. Several mails have been sent to our CCs, Directors and higher authorities regarding the fee reduction and a new modified fee structure.
We would like to have a fee structure that will be suitable to all the students from all the 16 campuses during this pandemic and hoping are to arrive at a solution with the college authorities.
Soon after publishing this story, NIFT students told The Quint, “We received an email on 6 August, assuring us that our pleas have been heard and we will receive some sort of a declaration on 15 August. As of now, the boycott is temporarily paused till then.”
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