February 26, 2011 1:47:38 am
Students of Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) Mumbai have joined their Pune counterparts in protests against the institute for misleading them about a post-graduate course. Students claim that when they took admission to the two-year Post-Graduate Programme in Planning and Entrepreneurship at Indian School of Business and Economics (ISBE),run by IIPM since August 2010,they were told that the course is full-time and affiliated to Tamil Nadus Manonmaniam Sundaranar University . On Friday there was confusion over exam dates and when the students called MS University,they were told that it is a distance-learning course.
Around 250 students of the Mumbai campus have made rounds to the institutes Bandra and Khar centres to get back their money.
Despite repeated attempts,officials of the IIPM were unavailable for comment. When The Indian Express approached IIPM authorities at Khar and Bandra,they said no authorised person was available to comment on the issue.
On Monday we confronted the authorities for the first time and we asked them to give us a proof that it is not a distance- education course. However they kept telling us that there is some miscommunication and the course is full-time. It was only when the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena union members intervened did they agreed. The students from Pune had come all the way to Mumbai to show us documents which prove it is a distance-learning course. They have charged Rs 4.70 lakh from each student for the course, a student said.
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While most of the students have got their course changed,a few have demanded refund and compensation from the institute for wasting their crucial year. They have assured us that they will send a letter by next week and that the process for refund would take around a month. The authorities are telling us that they will give us a refund only if we submit our identity card and other originals which we have refused to submit. They have also threatened us against talking to the media. We are helpless.
Akhil Chitre,executive member of MNVS,said,Even after the Pune protest the authorities in Mumbai campus refused to declare it as a distance-learning course. Now they have agreed to transfer the students to another course and few of them would get full-refund. We have already clarified that if even one student shows dissatisfaction over the compensation then we would have no option but to stage a violent protest.
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