Exam of Footwear Design and Development Institute to start, no clarity on degrees

NOIDA: The Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Noida in Sector 24 will conduct its semester examinations from Monday, following an order by Delhi high court. The move, though, has left students confused.
They are demanding an explanation from the institute and a rescheduling of dates as they say they have lost time protesting the impasse regarding their degrees.
The court had on December 14 directed Mewar University to conduct the examination as per the academic calendar. Sandeep Bhatia, deputy general manager of FDDI, said the Institute will conduct the examination according to the HC order. "Officials concerned are discussing ways to resolve the degree validity row. Our priority is to ensure smooth functioning of the academic calendar. The Delhi HC has directed Mewar University to conduct the examination, which will start from Monday," Bhatia said.
A group of students had filed a petition in the HC, demanding clarity over the examination. The HC also asked University Grants Commission (UGC) to find solution to the problem, which has been articulated in the writ petition for students.
FDDI, which was established by Union ministry of commerce and industry, offered a diploma in fashion, design and retail till 2009. The institute collaborated with IGNOU for grant of degrees in 2010. However, the collaboration ended in 2012 due to technical reasons. The institute then signed another MoU with Mewar University in Rajasthan and continued to admit students. However, UGC in September 2014 observed that a private university cannot award degrees to students on behalf of an institute. The move created panic, as around 3,600 students from three academic sessions - 2012 to 2014 - of the institute, in its eight campuses, were affected.
The students said they were not clear about the examination. "UGC had earlier termed the MoU between FDDI and Mewar University invalid. I do not know what happens to our degrees if the university is now being asked to conduct the examination," said a student. The students have also approached the Supreme Court, and a hearing is awaited.
The ministry of commerce and industry is in the process of drafting a bill to make FDDI an 'institute of national importance'. If the bill is passed, the institute will become an autonomous body and eligible to award degrees to students.

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