THE fee hike by the National Institute of Design (NID) for the consecutive second year has irked the postgraduate students who said that many students will be “left with no choice but to drop out after two years of hard work” because of this decision.
The students have written a letter to the authorities raising their resentment over increasing the fee amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the five working days’ deadline given by the premier institute, and demanded a justification for the “exponential” fee hike — Rs 1.65 lakh for the final semester (Semester V) for the period from July to November 2020 in two instalments of Rs 82,500, the first to be submitted before August 25.
The students have demanded “a fair concession on the academic fee based on these unforeseen circumstances” and “an extension for the fee payment without being levied the late fee fine”.
“The request for the extension of the deadline for the payment of fees has been considered,” the institute authorities told The Indian Express
In response to the mail by the NID to students sent on August 17 where it has demanded a fee of Rs 1.65 lakh in two equal instalments, the students’ body, Student Activity Committee (SAC), said Friday, ‘…If the fee is kept as is, many students will be left with no choice but to drop out after two years of hard work. Due to the short notice for leaving the city, many MDes (masters in design) students still pay rent in Ahmedabad. This adds to the burden of full fees. The administration chose not to reply to the mail treating the student body of this institute as a non-integral; non-important part. The administration, in times of such economic crisis, instead has made a decision to increase the fee by 7 per cent for the MDes 2018 batch. Why was this decision made?”
NID’s registrar Rekha Nair, in response to the mail sent to the director Praveen Nahar by this paper, replied, “The fees payable by the students is as per the fee structure announced at the time of their admissions and there is no difference in the fee structure originally communicated.”
On increasing the fee amid the pandemic, Nair said “Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the institute has already provided the students with a staggered payment option to pay the fees in two instalments.”
“Last year, the institute hiked the fee from Rs 92,000 to Rs 1.54 lakh for the semester. This year, it has been hiked to Rs 1.65 lakh for the last semester which is the internship and off campus. Also, amid the pandemic when there are no on-campus classes, they are asking for this fee for three zoom classes,” one of the students lamented.
Another student said, “Centrally funded institutes like Indian Institute of Technology has a fee of Rs 30,000 but NID is charging five times of this amount. The apathetic attitude of the institute is shocking.”
The student body said that they were not being involved in the decision-making process. “Over the last two years, the decision making process has been exclusively kept within the administration and the only involvement the student body has is that they are informed with a notice,” the student’s body said.
“The institute has given us five working days before late fee is applicable. Why has such a timeline been given, when the precedent is at least a month? And at the cost of being excluded from the admission roll of the year. The students thus demand a breakdown of fees as proposed by the institute stating various expense heads. The resources that the students will be paying for needs to be explicitly made clear,” the letter from the students read.
The students also questioned how the contingency reserve is being utilized by the administration “…that can relieve some financial burdens of the institute in this dire situation to relieve the primary stakeholders, student body and their parents/guardians.”
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