Students of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International School of Textiles and Management (SVPISTM) in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, have been boycotting classes at the institute for over a week. The students, who were promised a merger with the Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN), say that they have been waiting a long time for the management to keep its word. With no action being taken despite multiple representations, the students have decided to boycott classes.
Speaking to TNM, one student pursuing a textiles course at the college said that Union Minister Smriti Irani had promised them that the merger would take place when she visited the campus as Minister of Textiles over two years ago.
â€śWe wrote the same entrance examinations as the CUTN students. We were promised a merger but they let us down. Our fee structure is three times higher. We cannot afford it. Many of us came here on the promise that we would come under the purview of the Central University of Tamil Nadu,â€ť says the student.
Students have been staging sit-in demonstrations on campus even as they boycott classes. The national-level institute with a 300-strong student body offers an undergraduate degree in Textiles and an MBA degree in textiles, apparel and retail.
Another student from the campus alleges that despite SVPISTM coming under the Ministry of Textiles, the Union portfolio that Irani currently handles, there is no transparency on how much funding is received and how it is utilised.
â€śPlacements are better at CUTN and come with better packages. We donâ€™t get these, even though we qualified through the same entrance examination. Similarly, our lab and hostel facilities are also lacking because of lack of merger,â€ť the student says.
The students now await a management meeting with the Ministry on February 27 to discuss their issues and give them some clarity on what the management plans to do.