Mumbai: The Vedanta Institute of Medical Sciences in Palghar has been issued a show cause notice for charging 14 lakh annual fee as against the recommended 6 lakh by it.
The institute charging the highest fee in the state which commenced classes this year is apparently the first institution in the state to be registered as a private limited company under the Companies Act, 2013; implying that it is running to make profits.
In a meeting on December 2, the fee regulating Authority decided that the institution being unaided, private and running a professional course, would fall in its purview, under the Maharashtra Private and Unaided Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fees) Act,2015.
A recent report in TOI states that the minutes of the meeting confirmed that “the institution in blatant disregard for the ad hoc fees fixed by FRA, which is Rs 6 lakh per student, has been collecting Rs 14 lakh”. The minutes further, state that the institution has declared an exorbitant fee of Rs. 30 lakh under the NRI/institution quota, which is a gross violation of the norm. The body has issued a notice threatening why action should not be taken against the college for such gross violation of rules by the institution.
The balance sheet of the previous year of an institution helps the FRA in deciding the fee for it. If a college surpasses the limit the FRA has the powers to change it as per its balance sheet outcomes.
A blanket ad hoc fee of Rs 6 lakh was fixed for this year in the case of new institutes.
“As per the Act, only deemed colleges are exempted by the FRA,” said an FRA official to the TOI, adding that they would wait for the institute’s reply before action.
Of the 147 admissions done by Vedanta, this year 23 are in the NRI quota. Ganesh Kesari Dean Vedanta refused to comment on the issue.
According to TOI, the government was notified by the institute this june that its fee figures did not call for an FRA nod because it is registered as a company. The state decided that the reserved category fee taken by the institution will not be reimbursed, as is done in the case of other private colleges. Therefore no action was taken by the state authorities. However, the FRA has gone ahead and issued notices. According to a government official, FRA is a quasi-judicial body and has the right to make independent decisions.
“It is headed by a retired judge and is aware of its jurisdiction,” added the official.