Monsoon session: Now, state plans Bill to regulate coaching classes

Legislation passed to regulate fee structure and admission process of private colleges

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:July 23, 2015 3:43 am

Maharashtra lawmakers have decided to formulate a new Bill for regulation of private coaching classes in the state.

Education Minister Vinod Tawde told the Legislative Assembly Wednesday that the state’s law department had already given a go-ahead to the move. “The government will now seek opinion of the state’s advocate general to make a water-tight Bill,” he said.

Coaching classes have long been accused of charging exorbitant fees and indulging in unethical practices.

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The announcement came on a day the Maharashtra government cleared a legislation — the Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Education Institutes (Regulation of Admissions and Fees) Act — to regulate the fee structure and admission process in private professional colleges. The Maharashtra Class Owners’ Association, an outfit of coaching class owners, however, cautioned the government against “any haste” in formulating such a law, arguing that one such matter was already sub judice.

”Classes have been complimenting the state education by providing quality education to students and jobs to talented teachers averse to joining colleges. However, classes are treated as professional institutions and are charged taxes accordingly. We are not against regulations but would request the government to take our opinion and the opinions of other stakeholders,” said Narendra Bhambwani, secretary of the association.

He added, “Barring a few coaching classes, most charge nominal fees, and even offer discounts to students.”

BJP’s Sardar Tara Singh initiated discussion on the “exploitation of students” by coaching classes through a calling attention motion on Wednesday. He sought to know if the government had details regarding the fee structure and admission process of coaching classes.

Admitting that the government had no control over private coaching classes, Tawde said, “An earlier attempt to regulate their functioning had not materialised into a law,” he said. Leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said, “The business of coaching classes had become lucrative and needed to be regulated to curb unfair practices.” Former CM Prithviraj Chavan said, “Coaching classes should be barred from advertising their professions, like lawyers and doctors.”

The government has also decided to constitute a committee headed by the chief secretary and also urged private players to appoint a management member who would be accountable for any mismanagement or violation of the Act, apart from the principal of the respective colleges.

For 11 lakh, no property tax hike for 5 yrs

House owners in Mumbai with less than 500 sq ft homes won’t see a hike in property tax for the next five years. Maharashtra lawmakers Wednesday approved a legislation in this regard. The government had earlier issued an ordinance to this effect. It said over 11 lakh home owners would benefit from the move.

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