Pune: The BKL Walawalkar Rural Medical College in Chiplun, Ratnagiri district has had 8 of its student’s parents rise in protest against its recent 86% fee hike.
Their 45 day old complaint with the Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA) is still awaiting response.A hearing at the High court in Bombay was also scheduled for Thursday. The complaint of the parent body at a recently hosted press conference, on Wednesday was about the college having hiked its fee from Rs. 3.90 lakh to Rs 7.25 lakh.
However, the FRA responded to this by saying that the parents had prior information that the fees was on an ad-hoc basis, since it was the first year of the medical college.
A parent, told TOI, “We agreed to the ad-hoc fees and expected a hike of 10-15%. But when we were asked to pay an 86% hike we were surprised and unprepared. We took admission because it was affordable. Why would a Pune student go to a Chiplun college to study? We could have taken admission for our children in a college based out of Pune. If this college has to increase the fees to such extent it makes no sense.”
The parents stated that the feehike by the college had been accepted by the FRA in an arbitrary fashion, without verifying both expenses or calculations.
Another parent, said, “With the expenses claimed by the college and the fees approved by FRA, colleges are set to make a windfall. As per the act, educational institutes are not supposed to make profits.”
Parents also complained of bogus faculty on rolls, a practice common in other medical colleges too.
Ravindra Dahad, Member FRA, when contacted said, “The previous fee (academic year 2015-16) was on an ad-hoc basis for first year and the parents had signed an affidavit. This is common practice at any new college and parents are informed about the fee revision.”
A balance sheet was drawn after 2015-16 and fees for the next three years finalised. According to FRA, the fee for 2015-16 and 2016- 2017 was meant to have remained the same. However, the new batch in 2017-18, was to pay a sum of Rs 7.25 lakh; and students who took admission this year, the fee was declared to be at Rs 7.75 lakh.
FRA will appoint a fact-finding committee to look into the allegations made by the parents said Dahad.
“The committee members have visited the college and reviewed the facilities, equipment and resources and a report will be drawn up,” he added.