Management studies students of NL Dalmia Institute of management Studies and Research in Mira Road have approached the state Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA) alleging that the college was charging fees over and above the fee approved by the regulatory body.
Based on the coint received from students, the FRA, which regulates the fees for all professional courses offered by colleges in Maharashtra, has sought a response from the college. In a meeting held on Tuesday, the FRA granted the institute time till Friday to respond, according to the minutes of the meeting recorded on the official website of FRA.
Seema Saini, chief executive officer and administrative head of NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research, said that no official communication had been received from the FRA. “I have received a telephone call from the FRA, wherein I informed the FRA that we will need time to respond. However, we will wait for official word from the FRA before commenting,” said Saini.
In their complaint, several first and second year students pursuing Masters of Management Studies have alleged that the college was asking students to pay around Rs2.3 lakh over and above the approved fees under the guise of ‘other charges’.
The FRA had approved an annual fees of Rs 1.87 lakh for the academic year 2019-20. The approved fees for students admitted in 2020-21 is Rs 1.9 lakh. There are around 121 students in each batch.
Students said that the college has been charging Rs 4.15 lakh. “While the approved fees is collected as ‘tuition fee’, the rest is collected as ‘other charges’. This is illegal,” said a student on the condition of anonymity.
Students, especially from economically weaker sections, said they were having trouble availing study loans. “We are getting loan only on the tuition amount. Effectively, we end up getting very little relief as we have to pay the rest on our own,” said another student.
Another student said the college was targeting students asking questions about the additional fees. “We have been told indirectly that they will be causing problems in our placements,” said the student.
On October 7, the FRA had informed colleges that it planned to withdraw the 10% hike in tuition fees granted to them every year, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, on Wednesday the FRA clarified that this is an appeal to colleges. “This (proposal to withdraw the hike) should be treated as an appeal rather than an order and come forward to mitigate sufferings of stakeholders,” said FRA.