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The announcement of appointing an ombudsman for the addressing students grievance in technical institutes has not gone down well with leading self financed institutions. Many feel that the Union ministry of human resource and development should not link approvals and recognitions for the institutes with ombudsman orders which are not legal binding. But then for parents like B.K. Parmar, a retired railway employee who lost Rs 5 lakh to an engineering institute, the ombudsman will be a respite. At least there will be a neutral entity to hear us. I tried approaching the grievance cell of the college, but it existed only on paper. I have not received a refund after my son left the course.
Many parents like me work hard all their lives to give their children good education. For these institutes it is pure business, says Parmar. The admission process across technical institutes in Gujarat is like a scene out of Dalal Street. Price of every seat is fixed depending on the demand for them. Despite the Supreme Court ban on capitation fee of private professional colleges, several technical institutes still indulge in the dubious practice. Under various garbs like establishment funds other than fees and donations to trusts, the demand for that extra fee continues. Today some of the self-financed colleges literally sell 25 per cent of their management seats for not less than Rs 3 lakh each. Member secretary of admission committee for professional courses (ACPC) M.N. Patel says, Thank fully this year there would be no sale of management seats as more than 10,000 seats across Gujarat technical institutes will remain empty. But surely there is a need for greater vigil. This year civil, mechanical, and electronics and communication engineering seats are in demand and enjoy almost the same status as once enjoyed by IT courses. These institutes do this so smartly that the fee scrutiny committee can’t make out their modus operandi Students and parents remain mum, worrying about their future, says a senior officer of the education department. We have heard that in some institutes, lecturers draw their salary from the bank, say Rs 50,000,and then give back the institute some where between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000. This way, on the records they can always show that they have been paying full salaries to their teachers, adds the official. But the AICTE provision is very clear that the ombudsman will only handle student-related grievances and not service-related issues involving teachers. The ombudsman has jurisdiction to hear grievances concerning denial of admission, non observance of declared merit in admission, and non-observance of applicable regulations for reservation.
Courtesy: Times of India
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