Hyderabad: The Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) found two colleges in Hyderabad guilty for collecting fees higher than the standard, and for offering illegal courses. The District Intermediate Education Officer’s (DIEO) investigation found Sri Chaitanya Junior College in Saifabad and Gowtham Junior College in Chikkadpally found guilty of the charges.
In response to a complaint filed by Forum Against Corruption Founder Vijay Gopal on December 18, 2018, the DIEO issued show-cause notices to both colleges on February 2, 2019.
Vijay filed the petition on behalf of many parents/guardians who alleged that these colleges have been collecting excess fees than Board of Intermediate standards. His request also mentions that the parents/guardians complained of the colleges offering courses that are not provided by the Board.
Consequently, the management of Gowtham Junior college submitted their explanation stating that they are not collecting fees more than that specified by Board norms. They even claimed that they are strictly complying with TSBIE norms. The DIEO reported that they found the explanation evasive and incorrect. Sri Chaitanya Junior College management has not submitted their reply to the show-cause notices.
Based on instructions by TSBIE Secretary, DIEO inspected both junior colleges on August 8, 2019, to ascertain the truth regarding the allegations. The officers collected complaints of some students as evidence.
The DIEO collected materials evidence like admission forms of the hostel of Sri Chaitanya alongside fee receipts. The officer also received a representation from students regarding college timings and college fees from both the institutions.
During the inquiry, the education officer reported that the management of Sri Chaitanya was issued provisional affiliation during the academic year 2018-2019. The administration was permitted to run the group’s MPC+BPC and CEC+MEC. However, the application forms also mentioned a few particulars of NEET, AIIMS and EAMCET along with the courses permitted by TSBIE. The inquiry revealed that the college administrations have been offering a few courses that are not approved by the authorities.
Similarly, Gowtham Junior College, which was permitted to run groups like MPC+BPC and CEC+MEC was collecting huge fees from students, the latter alleged. During the inquiry, the officers found that both colleges have been collecting fees against the Board norms. The colleges can only collect Rs 1,760 for the first year and Rs 1,940 for the second year per tuition fees prescribed by the Commissioner of Intermediate Education, Hyderabad.
As per the DIEO’ inquiry report, prima facie there are irregularities by colleges. Further inquiry is going on, and the Board will take additional action.
On July 31, 2019, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) wrote to DIEO that they had taken the cognisance of the complaint by Forum Against Corruption. NCPCR wrote that they decided to hold an inquiry in the matter, as the requisite details have not been furnished despite reminders from the commission.
While speaking to NewsMeter, Vijay said, “The complaint was filed on December 18, and the investigation was conducted in August 2019. I believe, at this rate, the country will never progress. Hyderabad Collector must answer as to why no one has been taken into custody yet. What was the rationale for no arrests yet? Thousands of colleges in the city are doing this. What action is TSBIE taking to ensure that illegal courses are not offered and parents are not looted in the name of education?”
He further added that as per the Telangana Educational Institutions Act, 1983, the management of both colleges must be jailed for a minimum of three years. “They should be booked under IPC 420 (cheating). I am surprised that the Hyderabad Collector cum Magistrate has not filed any FIR so far and issued only a show-cause notice to the college managements. The colleges must return the excess money collected from the students as per the law,” Vijay said.
B Jayaprada, District Intermediate Education Officer (DIEO) told NewsMeter that they had completed inquiry in this matter. “We have sent all the reports to NCPCR. As both the managements have been found guilty, we didn’t sanction new affiliation to these colleges this year. Based on the guidelines given by NCPCR, we will take further action against these colleges, and we will close the college next year,” she added.