Although the Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Education Institutions (Regulation of Admissions and Fees) Ordinance, 2015 is meant to regulate admissions and fees, some academicians are sceptical about the law.
The ordinance proposes authorities for regulating the admission process, conducting entrance exams and another for regulating fees of all the unaided private professional education institutions.
Dr Snehalata Deshmukh, former vice-chancellor, University of Mumbai said, “Earlier, there was a fee fixation committee but it did not have enough powers to summon authorities concerned from private colleges. With these provisions, the authority can take stricter actions whenever necessary. But instead of passing it in a hasty manner, the government should ask for opinions from all the stakeholders.”
The fee regulating authority will give final approval for fee proposals, verification of infrastructure, amenities and solving grievances of students, parents and college management . A cell appointed by the state government will conduct the Common Entrance Test for admissions.
“The government’s motives do not seem to be right as it has issued an ordinance without discussing it in the house. Earlier, the Supreme Court had said that private institutes have a right to decide their fees and admit students. State government should not pass an ordinance which will violate these rights,” Kamal Kishor Kadam, president, association of private unaided medical colleges.
“Through this ordinance, there are chances that state government can interfere in education institutes with a political agenda,” said Kadam.
Others have a differing take on the issue. A principal from a city college said, “It is a good move to monitor fees and admission related issues in private institutions which will prevent malpractices such as sudden fee hikes. It is important that students will be admitted to private institutions based on merit.”
“However, it should not be misused for taking politically-motivated actions against the colleges run by leaders from opposition parties,” he said.