Mumbai activists demand regulation of junior college fees | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai activists demand regulation of junior college fees

Mumbai city news: Activists said that although the fees to be charged by the colleges are printed in the admissions manual, colleges ask students to pay more during admissions.

mumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2017 11:30 IST
Puja Pednekar

While the first merit list for admissions to class 11, first year junior college (FYJC) sections will be out on Monday (July 10), education activists have complained that colleges are charging higher fees than those approved by the government. They alleged that the committee formed by the government to look into the fee-hikes has not been functional.

Over 2.4 lakh aspirants have applied for admissions to nearly 800 junior colleges in Mumbai this year. Activists said that although the fees to be charged by the colleges are printed in the admissions manual, colleges ask students to pay more during admissions.

According to a study by Syscom, a Pune-based non-government organisation (NGO) fighting to bring transparency to the admission process, colleges receiving government grants charge Rs5,000 to 6,000 from each student. This is much more than Rs300 prescribed by the government.

“Fees in aided institutes are fixed by the government because they get salary and non-salary grants from them,” said Vaishali Bafna, member of the NGO, who is one of the petitioners in a public interest litigation filed by them against the state education department.

Colleges are charging extra amounts under the guise of insurance, development fund, building fund, among others. “We have received complaints from several students last year that they were asked to pay more than what was mentioned in the manual when they approached the colleges for admission,” said Bafna.

The state’s education department had agreed to form a panel to probe into the complaints and direct colleges to collect fees according to the rules this year. This was done after the association put its concerns before the department in November last year.

But the committee has not come up with any recommendations or action plan even as college admissions are scheduled to start from Tuesday (July 11).

“The fees for aided institutions were to be fixed by the government, but it has not been done,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education.

“The department has not taken cognizance of these malpractices, even though they had assured that they would look into it,” said Bafna. She added that the NGO might have to move the Bombay high court once again if the department continues to ignore the situation.

Similarly, fees for unaided seats, self-financed courses too need regulation, said activists. Currently, there is a massive gap between what students pay for aided and unaided seats even in the same college.

Bifocal courses such as computer science, electrical maintenance can cost Rs13,500 in KC College, Churchgate and Rs 25,000 at Jai Hind College. This is still cheaper than Swami Vivekananda School and Junior College, Chembur charging Rs30,000 for computer science.