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Panel constituted to examine school fee hike

Sunday September 25, 2011 02:45:08 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Delhi government has constituted a committee after the high court directed it to examine the accounts of private schools allegedly charging high tuition fees.

"Justice Anil Dev Singh, retired chief justice, Rajasthan High court, will be the chairperson. J.S. Kochar, charted accountant and R.K. Sharma, retired additional director of education, will be the other two members," said the government notification issued Saturday.

The government had Sep 9 told a division bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Siddharth Mridul that it will set up the panel within a week.

Earlier, the bench had directed the setting up of the committee to audit the accounts of each of the schools to ascertain if the hike, effected in 2009, was required.

The bench authorized the committee to scrutinize the accounts of minority schools as well.

"If the committee finds that the hike was not required, the schools are bound to return the money to students with 9 percent interest," the bench had said in a 143-page verdict Aug 12.

The court suggested that the Delhi government create a permanent regulatory authority, either by amending the education act or by enacting new legislation, to resolve the issue of periodic hikes in tuition fees.

It also suggested the central government frame a national policy on fees for unaided schools.

The bench's order came on a public suit filed by Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, which had alleged that despite the Comptroller and Auditor General's indictment of 25 private schools for accounting malpractices including faking losses, the Delhi government had allowed them to hike tuition fees.

The government notification, issued Feb 12, 2009, had said that any school, charging a monthly fee of Rs.500, will be allowed to hike this by Rs.100. Likewise, any school charging a monthly fee of Rs.1,000 will be allowed to effect a maximum hike of Rs.200.

Schools with a monthly fee of Rs.1,500 were allowed a Rs.300 hike and those with a fee structure ranging between Rs.1,500 and Rs.2,000 were allowed to hike it by not more than Rs.400.

The rest of the schools with monthly fees of more than Rs.2,000 were allowed by the notification to hike it by only Rs.500.

The Delhi government had approved the hike to ease the schools' financial burden due to the increase in teachers' salaries as per the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.







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