An NGO has raised objections to the government going ahead with the fee hike notification based on the Bansal Committee report.
The NGO claims the education department’s response to its RTI applications have exposed the lacunae in the committee’s report, formed by the government to examine implications of the fee hike vis-à-vis recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission for recognised schools.
A copy of the report, obtained through RTI, mentions that the members of the committee, in the very first meeting had decided the working procedure wherein one of the points stated that the body shall engage services of chartered accountants (CAs) to examine the financial records of schools. But the report itself states the committee curtailed the scrutiny of accounts by a CA.
“The committee presumed the schools have in the last 10 years been working on a no-profit basis and they cannot pay the amount from the accumulated reserves they have with them. But the annual inspection reports of a few schools that we have obtained under RTI clearly show that the presumption is unfounded, the schools are making profits to the tune of crores of rupees,” said Ajay Goel, trustee and director of Health Care Foundation, an NGO working in the social field.
The committee also did not have ‘an accounts expert to be co-opted by Chairman of the Committee’, as per the government notification and there was no parents’ representative.
S.L. Bansal, the retired IAS officer who headed the committee, refused to comment as the Committee had already submitted the report to the government. “Moreover, the matter is sub judice and the report is before the high court, I cannot comment otherwise also,” Bansal said.
However, director of education Chandra Bhushan Kumar disagreed with every single objection. “First, we have not accepted the Committee report in toto. Certain things have been accepted, not all.”
“Further, our notification regarding fee hike says ‘Fee hike is not mandatory’. In fact we have asked some schools like K R Mangalam school not to hike fees,” he said.