A REPUTABLE south Mumbai college has found itself embroiled in a controversy yet again, for allegedly overcharging students for the WiFi facility provided by it. The Mumbai division of the Maharashtra Directorate for Higher Education (DHE) has decided to set up an inquiry committee against the principal of Jai Hind College under the Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act.
The directorate has appointed a state representative in the committee and asked the University of Mumbai, the affiliate university, to designate a representative. The committee will look into the veracity of the allegations against the principal made by students wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena that the institute charged an annual fee of Rs 1,000 from students for providing WiFi facility.
This, according to the allegations, was over and above the fee approved by the University of Mumbai. The MNVS has alleged that the fee charged by the college was in violation of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act, 1987.
The Act prohibits educational institutions to charge fees above what is approved by the state government or the affiliate university. The Act also states that any violation of the Act could lead to a minimum imprisonment for a year or a fine.
Rohidas Kale, Joint Director, DHE, Mumbai division, said the committee would look for evidence into the allegations of overcharging fees and decide a further course of action. Principal Ashok Wadia said there was no truth in the accusations. “We have already given all the explanations to the authorities concerned. There is no capitation fee here. When the college set up WiFi on campus, we charged a nominal Rs 80 for it to be able to pay for the expenses. Now the campus WiFi is free,” he said.
It is, however, not the first time the college is facing this allegation. The MNVS had first made a similar allegation two years ago. In July 2016, the Department of Higher Education had served a showcause notice on the principal in the matter.