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Updated: September 27, 2009 10:38 IST

Tough law in the offing to check practice of capitation fee

PTI
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Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has said that colleges charging capitation fees would be de-recognised. File Photo: Shanker Chakravarthy
The Hindu Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has said that colleges charging capitation fees would be de-recognised. File Photo: Shanker Chakravarthy

If an educational institute indulges in malpractices like failure to deliver on its promises and charges capitation fee it will face the prospect of closure, according to a tough law being prepared by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.

Seeking to bring an end to the illegal practice in technical professional colleges, the ministry has prepared a draft legislation which prescribes cancellation of registration of an institute for charging capitation fee.

“Capitation fee will be covered under the legislation prepared by the ministry to curb educational malpractices.

Institutions will be under the pain of loosing their recognition if they resort to such malpractices,” HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told PTI.

The anti-malpractice law is being prepared in view of large number of complaints against institutes indulging in malpractices like not providing the kind of education and other facilities as promised in their prospectus.

A government-appointed committee recently said these institutes have a free run as regulatory bodies have failed to check the illegal practice, partly due to a reluctance to sort out the problem.

The committee on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education, headed by Prof Yashpal, also said that private professional institutes were charging up to Rs. 40 lakh from a student as capitation fee.

“If an institute promises something and delivers something else, that will amount to malpractice and the institute will face cancellation of recognition.”

Mr. Sibal said the major reason for capitation fee is that there is a mismatch between demand and supply in professional education. The government is opening new institutes and expanding the education system to sort out the problem.

“If there is a balance between demand and supply, there will not be any capitation fee. When there are more colleges, people will not go to the colleges charging capitation fee.

Capitation fee is given when the children have no merit and parents have money,” he said.

The government will make accreditation mandatory for institutes to ensure quality. The IITs, which were reluctant to the idea, are now willing for accreditation, he said.

When pointed out that poor students were unable to afford the high fee in professional colleges, he said government will help them with loans.

“Professional education has to be costly. The cost is high because you need high quality equipment. Being a poor country, in principle we do not accept that the child whose parents cannot afford full fee is denied admission to a professional course,” he said.

The state has to devise a system that no child should be denied admission for lack of paternal resource. So there will a funding scheme under which the institute gets a fee to maintain quality and the child gets the money to pay to the institute without having to worry about his or her parents, Mr. Sibal said.

However, he said, the cost of higher education in the country is less expensive than that in any other country.

“The fee in St Stephens today is Rs. 18 per month...

Children have to pay Rs. 5,000 a month in a school. Paying Rs. 18 in colleges is not right. If you want to go to higher education, you have to pay some amount of money,” he said.

He said the government wants to conduct an all India exam after class 12 for admission into universities.

“It will apply to medical, engineering colleges and also commerce stream as there is no diversity in these subjects.

This will happen in two to three years time,” he said.

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