Centre prohibits B-schools from hiking course fee for this year2 min read . Updated: 03 May 2020, 10:58 PM IST
The directives from the AICTE come against the backdrop of the disruption of the academic calendar because of the lockdown and underline the need to be considerate towards students
The technical education regulator has asked management schools to not hike fees in 2020-21, a move that will ease the burden on hundreds of thousands of students who may be facing financial problems because of the ongoing lockdown. It has also asked B-schools to admit final-year undergraduates in MBA courses and allow them till 31 December to provide proof of their bachelor’s degree.
The directives from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) come against the backdrop of the disruption of the academic calendar because of the lockdown and underline the need to be considerate towards students.
“The institutions shall not hike the admission fees and other fees for academic year 2020-21," said the directive from AICTE, which functions under the Union human resource development ministry. Mint has seen a copy of the circular.
India has about 3,000 B-schools with an intake capacity of 377,000 students a year.
Management schools said a clear directive is better for all. “We have received the notification and there are clear instructions on key issues. This will help us plan our academic year and make the student engagement process easier," said Harivansh Chaturvedi, director at the Birla Institute of Management and Technology.
However, some said the fee hike directive is harsh. “Covid-19 has impacted the education sector badly. There is a need to ramp up our online offerings. It needs massive financial investment. We understand the AICTE’s point of view of being considerate towards students but what puzzles us is how institutions will manage," said an administrator of another B-school.
“Rising costs because of lockdown-related supply chain issues, income loss from non-core academic activities that we do via allied offerings, full salary payment to all staff and now the notification baring any hike in fees will only impact institutions. Not that all were looking to hike 20% or 30% but 5% to 10% hike in fee would have helped partially offset the massive loss of income," he said, requesting anonymity.
B-schools, however, said that complying with the directive that students should get admission without having to immediately furnish a bachelor’s degree certificate should not be a problem.
Chaturvedi, who is also alternate president of the Education Promotion Society of India, an federation of private institutions, said they will follow the AICTE directive on relaxing norms for fresh admissions. “We have written to them last week seeking their guidance. This direction from AICTE will cheer students," he said.