24
August , 2017
Thursday

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Divide and Rule at N.I.F.T (1)

At the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), the Orientation Program (OP) is the beginning of the long list of fun rides that a first year student is made to take when they join the college. This program is organized so that the freshers get to know the city and the college thoroughly before the semester begins. They are divided into six groups, where they will find friends they may keep or forget over the course of the next four years.

The orientation program has been a tradition that has been followed since the beginning of the college itself. The program is conducted over a period of one week, during which the students get a sense of what the college is all about, have the auditorium as a common class room, learn about the various labs belonging to the different departments, asked to put together a cultural show by the end of the week and also taken around Hyderabad by their respective faculty in charge. Since the beginning, Textile Designers, Fashion Designers, the AMIT students, Accessory Designers, Fashion Communication students and the Knitwear Designers were mixed together into groups, allowing the students to make friends from all fields of specialization, which in turn help them in building connections and important contacts for the future. After this program though, students from one department don’t get to do any part of their course with students of the other departments. Altering this tradition would be like erasing a chapter from the book of life, which is exactly what the college authorities are trying to do.

Grouped credit:high heels

Grouped credit: High Heels

“I cant believe they’re changing it, it’s weird. It wont be like NIFT with all the groupism thing going on”, says Jenny, a fourth year student. This year, the students are being categorized into their fields in this preliminary part of their college life itself. “If there isn’t any interaction now, then these people are not going to bother making friends with students from other departments at all”, says Aditi, a third year student.

Now, there is an orientation program  group with only the Fashion Communication students in it and is headed by Mrs. Nishrin Pishori, who is also the HOD of the same department, the Accessory Design students have a separate set and the Knitwear Designers have their own herd. This means that the teachers get to take around only those, who will be associated to their field, “I think it’s a good idea, we would have had to lose old friends and make new ones all over again like our seniors had to, but now we know, who we’re up against and with from the very beginning”, says Sneha a first year student. The first years and the faculty are exceptionally comfortable with the fact that they know their class mates and students from the start of the college, “It’s easier this way, because we get to keep an eye on our students from the very beginning”, says a member of the faculty jokingly.

the decor, credit:high heels

The Decor. Credit: High Heels

Studying with different students in the very first week of the college has created a strong bond among the students of all the previous years, it’s one of the reasons why one gets to see the textile and the fashion designers walking shoulder to shoulder and backing each other up whenever necessary. The orientation program has led to grand friendships and helped many a student to get along with different people. “Whenever we needed support for a cause, whether it was against the environment, the faculty, the canteen, or the college authority in general, we could call on the AMIT students because of the friendship that started in that first week! It’s like they don’t want people to get together at all now!” says Uday, a pass out fashion designer from NIFT.

This particular change has brought out strong reactions from the students. While some of them feel that it might help the students, others feel that it is just a mechanism the college is adopting to keep a stronger hold on the undergraduates, who aren’t much of a stronghold without one another. But one thing’s for sure, no matter what the agenda behind this switch, the NIFT students are quite capable of taking on anything thrown their way, one department at a time.

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