An applicant says that each candidate paid a registration fee of Nu 13,250
Despite repeated reminders from the frustrated applicants, the Royal Institute of Management (RIM) in Thimphu has failed to provide reimbursement to 82 people, who had registered for International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in early 2020, just before the pandemic forced the institute to cancel the test, leaving the applicants in total limbo for over two years.
Around 200 people, all keen on exploring better life abroad, had initially applied for appearing the IELTS with the RIM, oblivious that a global pandemic was about to put their grand plans on indefinite hold, especially with oversea destinations like Australia closing its borders.
“We have written over a thousand emails to RIM but so far they have just responded thrice and have been totally vague about refund,” said an applicant, adding that each candidate paid a registration fee of Nu 13,250.
With two years already lost to the pandemic, the applicants want RIM to do the honorable thing and return their registration fee.
“In the last two years, RIM refused to provide us with timely updates on the test or refund. Rather their only response has been that our money is with the British Council in India,” said another applicant, miffed about what he calls lack of communication and transparency.
The indifference from the institute has prompted a few to take up the matter legally in the court of law. Adding to their confusion, the focal person of the British Council in India has confirmed that the refund amount is already deposited in the RIM’s account.
Sangha Chophel, another applicant, said that it was through their own initiative, like calling the British Council directly, that they now see a prospect of getting their refunds after two years.
“Regarding the reimbursement, we had pleaded with RIM for the past two years to take up the issue with the British Council’s sub agent in Kolkata, further suggesting that RIM involve the government to mediate but it had all been in vain,” he said, adding that it was unprofessional for the renowned institute to remain silent over the matter.
Meanwhile, last month RIM sent an email to all the applicants informing them that they needed to authenticate their accounts and that their IELTS cost will be deposited by April 9 this year.
Update: The fees were deposited by RIM to the applicants on 11th April 2022.
Tshering Pelden from Thimphu