http://swarajyamag.com/biz/the-never-ending-license-permit-quota-raj-in-higher-education/ The Indian Express reported yesterday that All India Council Of Technical Education (AICTE) has accepted the report of the government-appointed committee, which has recommended a ceiling on the tuition fee charged by all private institutes for technical courses including engineering and MBA. The committee has fixed the maximum (tuition and development) fee – For a two-year MBA course at Rs 1.57 lakh to Rs 1.71 lakh per annum, depending on the location of the institute For a four-year engineering degree (BE or B Tech) at Rs 1.44 lakh to 1.58 lakh. It has also proposed the maximum fee for technical courses like B Arch, B Pharma, MCA and M Tech. The Committee was setup after the Supreme Court directed the government to set fees to stop, what it sees as commercialisation of education. There are broadly two reasons why this should worry us: First, the diagnosis in itself is wrong. The current substandard state that the education sector is in is because of more regulation, not for the lack of it. Second, the issue of increasing encroaching by judiciary into executive trough is a serious concern. This is not the first time that the Government has delegated the executive decision making to the Judiciary. From banning commercial surrogacy to now capping fees for technical educational institutes, it seems the govt is happy to take orders from the Supreme Court on matters that solely fall under its domain. First, the most important and immediate concern is that of regulation. AICTE is the technical education regulator but it can’t effectively execute the job as scale and scope this kind of regulation demands is massive. Then there is a case against regulation itself. It will lead to: More harassment by the authorities and their grease palming given India’s corruption culture Many illegal institutes will crop up with substandard quality and little oversight If we keep trying to get the state to control every aspect of education and commerce, our outcomes will continue to be miserable. Second, the AICTE and the committee doesn’t realise that in Engineering and MBA, top technical educational institutes (IITs, NITs, IIMs) are not Private but Government. The fees of top business school in India, IIM Ahmedabad (Government Institute) comes around to 9 lakh per annum (approx.). Fees for almost all other private business schools is either equal or much lower than this (For instance, Fees at XLRI comes around to 8.5 lakhs approx.). Capping the fees for all at 1.57 lakh will spell doom for even reputed institutes like XLRI and SP Jain. Third, Government institutes are highly subsidised but still have higher fees than private institutes. Private institutes won’t be able to compete with the likes of IIMs/IITs for they don’t have the benefit of government subsidies. Fourth, There are limited seats in government institutes. Majority of students are absorbed by the private ones. Capping fees below 2 lakh means that these institutes will have to increase the intake which will ultimately result in reduced quality of education. Fifth, Limited revenues mean limited scope for them to spend it on quality professors or better infrastructure. Not to mention the fact that lakhs of students who can’t get into IITs/IIMs will nowhere else to go if these private institutions start shutting down. Primary education is still breathing despite thousand cuts by RTE act for there are too many schools. What will happen to higher education is anyone’s guess when we have so few technical institutes to begin with? Sixth, the lowering of fees will destroy the competition and result in lower standards since institutes will have to cut costs to meet their expenditure. This will lead to more jobless youth. Less fees may appeal to students in the short run but in the long run, it will be disastrous for the technical and higher education as a whole. Seventh, It won’t make technical education more accessible to poor students as intended. The policies framed with good intentions rarely translate into good results. When there aren’t enough technical institutes to absorb students, where they will go? Of course, they will be forced to take courses in humanities etc which doesn’t solve our problem. We need more trained individuals in technical skills, not less. Eighth, the future of India is heavily dependent on technical education. If private sector feels strangulated and start closing shop, then government will have to open more and more institutes to offset the demand because we just can’t afford not to have a skilled and trained workforce. This will result in more subsidy burden on the taxpayers. In its intention to benefit poor students who can’t afford higher education, it will end up hurting not just those same students it intends to help but also the taxpayers. ####################################################### I seriously think it is high time to kick ass of SC. They are increasingly interfering in policies and making a mess. They should rather focus on their job i.e. speedy justice. Btw, if this law is passed, India is going to be doomed. Already, these institutes hire trashy Profs. Once you cap the fee they would hire high school drop-outs to run the show.