Union Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said he is all for a freeze in fee hikes at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).
Speaking at the convocation of NIFT Mumbai at the Kharghar node, Goyal said the entire admission process also needs to be "replanned" in such a way that students enter on merit and are not asked about their fee-paying ability.
Those who cannot afford the education will get scholarships which will also be increased, he said.
"I have asked the governing council to consider a freeze for some time on your fees," he said, addressing the graduating students at the campus here,"
However, it was not clear if the proposal is only for the Mumbai campus or all the 18 campuses of the institute.
As per the NIFT website, non-NRI students pay about Rs 3 lakh as fee for the two semesters in an academic year.
Goyal said the 35-year-old institution also requires a facelift and promised to hold a call with architect Hafeez Contractor to give the 10-acre campus a new look and shape.
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Promising students that the ministry will coordinate more with the industry for internships and placements, Goyal said there is a need for the internships to be extended to six months instead of the present eight weeks and also stressed that students should be paid for the same.
He said scholarships also need to be doubled and the whole admission process which takes over six months at present should be halved in time.
The minister departed from the written convocation speech and chose to make it an interactive where he gets to know the students' demands first hand. "Over a period of time, there is a status quoism. I am hoping that today's visit will help shake the system a little bit," he said.
After finding out that very few students go for the dual degree course by travelling to New York for a course at the Fashion Institute of Technology, he said the government of India will consider sending one student per NIFT campus to the US.
He said NIFT represents the best chance to bolster India's soft skills due to which it requires all the possible handholding.
"Honestly to my mind India's soft skills will determine our future," he said, adding that given their talent, industry should chase talent at the institute.
He exhorted the students to be entrepreneurs, become designers and launch their own labels, help preserve traditional handicrafts, and also consider becoming a journalist to document and write about the Indian fashion scene.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)