Days after students of the Burhani College of Arts and Commerce, Byculla, protested against the management for charging exorbitant fees, 162 degree college students individually registered their complaints with the Students’ Grievance Redressal Committee (SGRC) of the Mumbai University (MU).
Students claimed despite paying fees that are way above the amount prescribed by the varsity, the college has failed to provide the promised amenities. “The college has repeatedly made tall claims of providing air-conditioned classrooms and free WiFi on campus, but none of the promises have materialised till date.
No other college charges such steep fee, even if they are providing the best of the amenities and professors,” said one of the BMS students and a complainant. Commenting on the issue, MU officials said the final call would be taken once they receive replies to all the complaints from the college authorities.
While college principal Haider Karrar refused to comment on the issue, mid-day has a copy of the letter sent by college authorities to the university in which they have presented their rebuttal to the allegations levelled by the students. In the letter, the college authorities stated that a higher fee structure for unaided courses was set to provide students with the best of the facilities.
The letter reads: “The college has provided additional amenities/facilities to students for their overall development, including air-conditioned classrooms, library with e-learning facilities, guest lecturers (subject experts), campus recruitments, etc.”
Students, however, have denied the claims made by the college authorities. Many expressed their displeasure over being forced to pay Rs 19,015. “Our fee receipts state we are paying for gymkhana and laboratory facilities. This is funny because we don’t have a gymkhana and BMS students don’t need laboratories,” said one of the students.
He also alleged the college authorities of getting in touch with BMS students and coaxing them to withdraw complaints after the management received a letter from the varsity officials demanding an explanation.
When mid-day contacted Karrar in the recent past, seeking comments about students being overcharged, he had rubbished the allegations. “MU prescribes a basic structure for fees for unaided courses, but almost all colleges end up charging a little more than the prescribed amount to ensure that students get the best education.
While a few such complaints have come to me, I have answered these questions patiently. If students have other problems, they are free to come and discuss the matter personally,” Karrar had said during his previous interaction with this reporter.
Heena Kanoji, national coordinator, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), claimed the principal has agreed to look into the matter. “The principal has promised to hear out students’ problems and also refund fees if need be. We will visit the vice-chancellor and bring this matter to his attention for speedy action,” she said.
Fees paid by the degree college students of various unaided courses like BMS, BMM, etc