Amendments to Weaken Fee Regulation Acts in Maharashtra since 2010-18 While the State of Maharashtra is witnessing outrage from the parents all over the state against its planned amendment which is likely to further weaken the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011, i have with my limited knowledge researched and discovered yet another shocking fact which would reveal the mockery of educational laws by the governments in Maharashtra since the year 2010 to 2018 of the fee regulation laws.
I have also suggested my own draft model for the statute or amendment briefly and in simple language so that common people would understand how governments conspire to undermine the public welfare and I hope after publishing this article they would start questioning politicians about this issue in the State of Maharashtra which should put maximum pressure on them and they would think thousand times before planning such conspiracies explained below. Needless to say, it is clear that all the political parties have been doing such conspiracies since past many years in the State of Maharashtra.
This article will deal with-
- How government of Maharashtra has conspired to help private schools in the guise of bringing fee regulation act.
- How the state government has been with preplanned conspiracy bringing strong fee regulatory provisions provided it would surely get set aside before the competent courts ultimately helping the private schools.
- What should be the effective model draft for amendment or act for regulation of the fee for the State of Maharashtra?
The strong Government Resolutions regulating the exorbitant fees brought in the year 2010-
It is pertinent to note that the Maharashtra government as per the recommendation of the Smt.Kumud Bansal Committee (Like Rtd.Justice Palshikar Committee was appointed recently for Fee Regulation Act 2011, in the same way Smt.Kumud Bansal was appointed then) through its government resolution Dtd.15.07.2010 which had made very strong provisions & fee regulation mechanism to regulate the fees effectively. The some important features of these government resolution Dtd.15.07.2010 were as follows-
- That the school management shall fix the fees as per the Objective Parameters.
- That the schools shall be allowed reasonable surplus but the same shall not exceed 6% at any cost.
- That the school managements will not be allowed to uncontrolled sources of income and that rents received from halls, & grounds, interest received from the deposit of the banks etc.
- The school management shall put all the income & expenditure information before the Parent Teacher Association & maintain complete transparency over it.
- The school management shall only collect the fees for ‘Approved List of Expenditure’ & not otherwise except in few circumstances.
- The fee shall be fixed according to the ‘Annual Expenditure’ from ‘Approved List of Expenditure’ & further shall be divided per student for the ‘Primary’ ‘Secondary’ & ‘Higher Secondary’ categories.
- Thereafter the fees shall be further calculated on monthly, quarterly or yearly basis and parents shall be allowed to pay accordingly.
- The projects influencing the fee of the school directly should be considered for the next 5 years only.
- The projects influencing the fees of the school should be planned with reasonable profit and must be beneficial to all the students’ interest.
- Even for fixing the fees considering projects influencing the fees for next five years, the fees shall be calculated & divided year wise required for the projects & it shall be considered only for that particular academic year only.
- Also for such projects influencing the fees, the school management shall also consider the other sources it has to mete the expenses for such projects.
- Most Important- Fee Regulatory Mechanism-The PTA & PTA-EC shall have the effective role in fixation of the fees-The Parent Teachers Association (PTA) shall be formed 30 days after the commencement of the academic year and Parent Teacher Association-Executive Committee (PTA-EC) shall be formed within 2 weeks thereafter with democratic way.
- The fee proposal shall be put before the PTA-EC which shall record objections if any, thereafter the school management shall be duty bound to send the same for the approval along with the approval or objection remarks of the PTA-EC to the District Education Officer or Dy.Director of Education.
- The District Education Officer or Dy.Director of Education shall get the such fee proposal examined from the Auditor within 15 days and it shall again be submitted before the final approval before the committee headed by the Dy.Director of Education. After the approval the fees shall be binding for 3 academic years. Even after the approval of the fees from the committee, it shall decide the complaints against the fee issues by the parents on priority basis.
- The school management can appeal against the decision of the committee before the ‘State Committee’ headed by the Director of the Education, within 30 days of the Dy.Director of Education’s Committee, the State Committee shall decide the matter within 45 days thereafter.
- The decision of the Director of Education’s committee shall be binding on the schools & if the schools charge excessive fees against the decision of the Director of Education’s Committee or otherwise, provision was made to withdraw its No Objection Certificate and also for recommendation to cancel its affiliation from the concerned boards was also made.
The copy of the Marathi government resolution Dtd.15.07.2010 can be viewed and downloaded from following link-
Click To Download- The State of Maharashtra Resolution Dtd.15.07.2010 for Fee Regulation (Marathi)
Amendments to Weaken Fee Regulation Acts in Maharashtra since 2010-18
The most important difference between Government Resolutions of 2010 & the present Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011-
It could easily be seen that the most important differences between the government resolution of 2010 & the present Fee Regulation Act 2011 are-
- The PTA-EC was elected with democratic manner according to the resolution of the 2010 than lottery draw manner in the present law. Thus the parents which were active about spreading the awareness among the parents could get elected with democratic way easily. However by bringing the lottery system with preplanned conspiracy the government has deliberately closed the doors of the ‘Active Parents’ in the fee regulation mechanism.
- Every PTA i.e. every parent of the school had right to complaint against the fee approved even if it was approved by the PTA-EC or even the government’s committee under the resolution of 2010 however the same has been denied to any member of the PTA in the present Fee Regulation Act of 2011. The government is on the contrary planning to bring amendment that 25% parents must consent together to make any complaint against the fee fixed by the school management or otherwise!
- The another Most Important fact was that the concept of Rejection of Post Audit in P.A.Inamdar’s case as declared by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India was very well protected under the resolution of 2010 as the provision was made that the fee proposal of the school management shall be scrutinized by the state government through Auditor first and then it shall be considered by the government committees for decision over approval.
- However in the present Fee Regulation Act of 2011 the very concept of Rejection of the Post Audit has been demolished as there is no intervention by the state government for conducting the audit of the fees at initial stages. That responsibility, government has shamelessly put on handful lottery elected parents who do not know mostly about the audit system at all.
- The another important aspect was under the resolution of 2010 it was provided that the State Government shall play main role in regulation of the fees from the initial stages of fee fixation itself. The school could not evade its duty to provide all the income-expenditure information to the government authorities before fixing the fees.
- However under the present Fee Regulation Act of 2011 the DFRC comes into the picture only when the dispute has already arisen and the school fixes its fee as per its whims and fancies. There is no effective mechanism to get the necessary documents from the school management under the Fee Regulation Act of 2011 especially when the PTA-EC has been made toothless by lottery system & further without any representation of the state government.
- The fee once decided was binding for 3 years under the resolution of the 2010 than 2 years under the existing Fee Regulation Act of 2011.
The Hon’ble Bombay High Court Set aside notification Dtd.15.07.2010-
The Hon’ble Bombay High Court in Writ Petition Number 1876 of 2010 which was filed by the private school associations declared the government resolution Dtd.15.07.2010. The perusal of the judgement, as per my opinion, clearly declares the reason for declaring the government resolution unconstitutional is because these resolutions were brought into the existence under article 162 of the constitution i.e. through administrative order from the Governor and not through the legal enactment from the legislature. Thus the Hon’ble Bombay High Court quashed the government resolution on procedural & technical aspect only as it upheld that the government resolution Dtd.15.07.2010 encroaches the fundamental right of the private schools thought the administrative order of the Governor of the state, the state can not do such things through administrative order, instead such reasonable restrictions should be imposed by the state through legislation only which is not done by the state government.
The order given by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court above mentioned can be viewed & downloaded from the following link-
Amendments to Weaken Fee Regulation Acts in Maharashtra since 2010-18
Thus what state government was required to do is simply bring the law from the legislature or mere make sure that these provisions were in accordance & in relation to the Maharashtra Education Institutions Prohibition of Capitation Act 1987 yet instead of doing so it has brought the school favoring Fee Regulation Act 2011 into the existence to help the private schools to commercialize the school education of Maharashtra.
Will any citizen of this country would ever believe that the state government which has so many legal & education experts available at its various panels did not know about such big blunder it had committed which even a prudent law student could have pointed out?
What should be the model draft for amendment or act for regulation of the fee for the State of Maharashtra?
This has been made one of the most controversial topic in the state now days. More unguided & unprofessional discussions has made the issue more complex. The common people are confused as to what should they recommend to the government and what amendments they should make to the government.
The common people fearing not knowing the law & its complexities fear to make suggestions and even if it is made most are found not relevant or logical too. Under such circumstances people leave the issue to be decided by the handful people whom they think know better than them which results into the further damages.
However i believe after reading the above information, any prudent man should have got the exact picture what blunder & conspiracy is being committed by the state government to help private schools and further to commercialize the education completely. i also believe that common people if study this article & other articles given on the website well, they can argue professionally even before the minister of education & the legal experts too.
Hence with the purpose of making the issue simpler, understandable to the common people, to make the common people come forward, make them their own leaders, i think, henceforth the people of the state should demand to their local leaders to make following amendments or demand to bring whole law altogether for regulation of fees with following provisions –
Model Draft for the Fee Regulation Act 2011
- The PTA should be formed within 30 days after the commencement of the academic year.
- The PTA-EC should be formed within 15 day from formation of the PTA.
- The invitations, elections process should be video recorded and be made available to every parents in addition to posting the same on the website of the school.
- The members of PTA-EC should be elected democratically than with lottery system.
- That the school management, at the very beginning should submit their fee proposals to the government appointed committees than to the PTA-EC.
- That PTA-EC should be given representation too before such government appointed committees while school proposes their fee before such committees.
- The Committee of the government should be headed by the retired High Court judges or retired members of the judiciary only & not by the officers of the education department.
- The Committee should consist of auditors, chartered accountants, expert from cost & management etc.
- Even if the fees are approved by the PTA-EC, or even the government appointed Committee, any parent of the school still must have right to complaint and same should be disposed off as expeditiously as possible. To prevent the (so called though) abuse from the parents, the time limit of 30 days to complain after the approval of the fees can be made.
- That the schools shall be allowed reasonable surplus but the same shall not exceed 6% at any cost.
- That the school managements will not be allowed to uncontrolled sources of income and that rents received from renting halls,grounds & interest received from the deposit of the banks etc & all the income and expenditure report of the school management must be made available on their websites.
- The projects influencing the fee of the school directly should be considered for the next 5 years only. Even for fixing the fees considering projects influencing the fees for next five years, the fees shall be calculated & divided year wise required for the projects & it shall be considered only for that particular academic year only.
- The collection of illegal, excessive & capitation fees should be made cognizable & non bailable offence and no sanction/permission of any authority should be made necessary for initiation of such criminal prosecution.
- That the harassment or expulsion of the children for non payment of the fees should be prohibited and made cognizable & non bailable offence and no sanction/permission of any authority should be made necessary for initiation of such criminal prosecution.
I firmly believe this article if read properly by common people would make them aware of their own rights, would boost their morale to participate, say or even argue before legal experts in the law making process, protest against unjust provisions of the law with their own studies.
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