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Medical & Engg courses
Capitation fee sought by pvt colleges illegal: SC
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 8
The Supreme Court has given a wake-up call to the Centre and states to eradicate the practice of private educational institutions charging donation, capitation fee and exhorbitant amounts in other forms from students seeking admission to medical and engineering courses.

Expressing concern over the “unprecedented growth” of the technical and medical institutions in the country and the accompanying “unethical practices,” a Bench comprising Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri said this trend had resulted in denial of admission to poor but meritorious students. “Collection of large amounts by way of capitation fee running into crores of rupees for MBBS and postgraduate seats, exhorbitant fee, donation etc by many such self- financing institutions has kept the meritorious, but financially poor students away from these institutions,” the SC noted.

Citing cases in which the CBI had to chargesheet former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss in 2012 and arrest Medical Council of India (MCI) president Ketan Desai in 2010, the SC said the trend was a clear pointer to the “deteriorating” educational system in the country.

While states had enacted “toothless” laws to ban capitation fee, allowing private institutions to “get away by paying meagre fines,” a Bill introduced in Parliament in 2010 was still pending for want of follow-up action, the Bench regretted.

Pointing out that the mushrooming of a large number of medical, engineering and pharmaceutical colleges had “definitely affected the quality of education” in the country, especially in the medical field,” the Bench said this “calls for a serious introspection.”

The apex court made the observations while dismissing a petition filed by the Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital, Bareilly, challenging the revocation of the permission granted for additional intake of students for the 2013-14 session. The college was found to have obtained the permission on the basis of forged documents pertaining to the teaching staff.

The SC rejected the contention of the college that the government could revoke the permission only after the conclusion of the trial and not after filing of the chargesheet by the CBI. The Bench noted that regulatory bodies like the MCI, All India Council of Technical Education and the University Grants Commission had also come under a cloud in recent years.

The Centre, the Union Health Ministry, the CBI and the intelligence wing should also take effective steps to eliminate such unethical practices and prevent self-financing institutions from turning into “students financing institutions,” the SC said.





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