Maharashtra: No fee regulation for reserved candidates in pro courses, says MNVS
Reimbursement of fees or giving the option of scholarship to students in need, especially those from reserved categories, is looked after by the social justice department, said an FRA official
Members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) have raised concerns over the state fee regulating authority (FRA) not considering separate brackets for reserved category applicants in undergraduate professional courses. In a letter addressed to the state FRA as well as the admissions authority, the state common entrance test (CET) cell, MNVS has demanded that FRA release an updated list of approved fees for higher education institutes, keeping in mind concessional fees for students from reserved categories.
“FRA is a statutory body of the government of Maharashtra, so they can’t just fix fees for open category students, but also need to consider students from reserved categories. Over the years, this has discouraged more students from financially backward sections to apply for professional courses altogether,” said Santosh Gangurde, state vice-president, MNVS.
Established in 2004, FRA is a quasi-judicial body responsible for regulating the fees of all unaided private professional colleges in the state. Every year, institutes submit proposals for changing their fee structure to the authority, which considers a number of indicators such as nature of the course, number of students, teaching and non-teaching staff, infrastructure and other facilities at the college before fixing the fees. Colleges then have to display this approved fee structure on their website for students to check at the time of admission.
A senior official from FRA, on condition of anonymity, told HT that they are concerned with the course conducted by a particular college and expenditure incurred. “Approval of fees is cost based and has nothing to do with the category the applicant belongs to. Reimbursement of fees or giving the option of scholarship to students in need, especially those from reserved categories, is looked after by the social justice department. We do not decide, nor is there a provision in the Act to fix a separate fee structure for those in reserved categories,” said the official.
Members of MNVS have also highlighted the lack of representation from the minority or social welfare departments as part of the FRA core committee. “We will take this up with the government as well,” added Gangurde.