TIMES NEWS NETWORK, Aug 10, 2017

Source: The Times of India

Pune : Parents of eight students from Pune studying at BKL Walawalkar Rural Medical College in Chiplun in Ratnagiri district have protested against the 86% fee hike.

The parents approached the Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA) 45 days ago about the hike and are waiting for a response. A hearing about the petition in Bombay high court has been scheduled on Thursday .

The college hiked the fees from Rs 3.90 lakh to Rs 7.25 lakh, parents said at a news conference on Wednesday .FRA officials said the parents had been informed at the time of admissions that the fees was on an ad-hoc basis since it was the first year of the medical college.

Bharat Darekar, a parent, said, “We agreed to the ad-hoc fees and expected a hike of 1015%. But when we were asked to pay an 86% hike we were surprised and unprepared. We took admission because it was affordable. Why would a Pune student go to a Chiplun college to study? We could have taken admission for our children in a college based out of Pune.“

The parents claimed the FRA permitted the college to hike the fees and they approved the hike in an arbitrary manner without verification of expenses or calculations.

Another parent, Marc Fernandes, said, “With the expenses claimed by the college and the fees approved by FRA, colleges are set to make a windfall. As per the act, educational institutes are not supposed to make profits.“

Other parents alleged that the college was showing bogus teachers and this practice was rampant among many other medical colleges in the state. When contacted, Ravindra Dahad, a member of FRA, said, “The previous fee (academic year 2015-16) was on an ad-hoc basis for first year and the parents had signed an affidavit. This is common practice at any new college and parents are informed about the fee revision.“

After 2015-16, the balance sheet was drawn and fees for the next three years were finalised.