The AAP today alleged that Footwear Design and Development Institute, run by Union Commerce Ministry, entered with an agreement with a private university which was not authorised to award degrees, thereby jeopardising the future of hundreds of students.
Addressing a news conference, AAP leader Raghav Chadha said the FDDI, with its head quarters in Nodia, signed an agreement with a Rajasthan based private university in July 2012 to award degrees to students.
Chadha said due procedure to ensure transparency like floating advertisement so that other universities too could participate in the process, seeking legal advice, release of an Expression of Interest, was not followed.
“After the agreement ended in 2014, the FDDI again renewed it with the same university without following any procedure,” Chadha said, demanding that the students be given a valid degree at the earliest and the matter be probed thoroughly.
Established in 1986, FDDI is a premiere institute under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It has been playing a pivotal role in facilitating the Indian industry by bridging the skill gap in the areas of Footwear, Leather, Retail and Management areas.
“When the students filed an RTI with the University Grants Commission (UGC), they found that private university did not have the power to award any degree. This happened right under the nose of the government. Now the future of hundreds of students in jeopardy,” Chadha said.
Chadha claimed that a Bill to provide relief to students was also mooted in the Union Cabinet, but it was dropped at the last minute. He claimed that the students wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP President Amit Shah, but have found no respite.
Sandeep Priyadarshi, convenor of the Student’s Council of FDDI, who was also present at the news conference said the students, who have spent lakhs of rupees on their education, are now left to fend for themselves.
Despite repeated attempts, Sameer Kumar Srivastava, Managing Director of FDDI, was unavailable for comment.