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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Education Unfamiliar - Rs 1 crore fine for demanding capitation fee for admission

NEW DELHI: In an effort to curb unfair practices in the higher education segment, the government has doubled the penalty that institutions will have to pay for demanding a capitation fee. The penalty has been raised to Rs 1 crore. 

The Cabinet approved the amended Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill, 2010, now renamed as Higher Educational Institutions Act, 2011, at its meeting on Wednesday. 

The proposed legislation aims to provide an institutional mechanism for preventing, prohibiting and punishing unfair practices in technical and medical educational institutions and universities. It will bring all higher educational institutions except agriculture education and research, which is a state subject, under its purview. 

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in March last year and was referred to the Parliament Standing Committee on Human Resource Development. 

The committee submitted its recommendations in May this year. Of the 48 amendments suggested by the Parliamentary Standing Committee, the government accepted 41 of the suggested changes. 

A new clause, which prohibits unqualified teachers from being engaged, has been introduced. 

Failure to meet any promise made in the prospectus would also be an offence. The accepted amendments, include increasing the penal provisions for charging capitation fee from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore. 

The Bill will have provisions for a grievance redressal mechanism. It also provides for the inclusion of any new type of unfair practice other than those specified in the Bill. 

The aim is to give a legal basis to curtail profiteering in higher education institutions. 

At present these unfair practices are beyond the scope of any such regulation. The institutions are also expected to mandatorily disclose information related to admission process through itsprospectus.

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