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New Education Policy

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From a News item, I came to know that the Government Of India is in the process of framing a new education policy. In view of that, I am sharing my personal experience.

Last year, my son was aspiring to take an admission in a Business school of India. There were two major entrance tests he has to appear namely CET and CAT. After appearing in the exam the process begins. He had to fill form for individual institutes by paying a fee ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,500 and paying separate fee for different campuses of the institute. If he doesn’t pay the separate fee, he was not eligible for admission in that particular institute or campus. We landed up paying nearly Rs. 30,000 towards these institutes/campuses. Still, we couldn’t cover all major institutes.

As an estimate more than a Lakh of students appear in CAT every year. If every student spends around Rs. 30,000, a Lakh of students pay around Rs. 300 Crores every year. This amount is excluding the amount paid for regional institutes through exams such as CET conducted by each state separately.

After qualifying the entrance test and filling the form for the institute, the next process begins. If the marks obtained by the student is lesser that the cut-off marks, he or she is not called for GDPI (Group Discussion and Personal Interview) despite paying fee for that institute and that fee is wasted.

Each private institute follows a different admission schedule. Private institutes declare their cut-off lists first and call students for GDPI. Qualified students are supposed to pay first term fee to reserve his/her seat and the fee amounts in the vicinity of Rs. 3.00 Lakhs. If the student qualifies for better ranking institute, he/she is supposed to pay the first term fee of that institute again within a stipulated time of 10 to 15 days. And the earlier institute refunds the fee paid after a month or so. Therefore, any student aspiring to take an admission in a Business school in India, has to keep at least Rs. 10 Lakhs ready so that, he/she can pay the fee of 3 to 4 institutes.

IIMs and IITs are the last ones to announce results. Till then, every student has already paid the fee to 2 or 3 institutes.

Fee Refund policy of every private institute is different. Institutes like Symbiosis, which is one of the first to declare their admission schedule, deduct Rs. 35,000/- per student who has cancelled the admission. And, more than 1,000 students cancel their admission in each campus or course of Symbiosis. Even if I consider 3 campuses, 1,000 students cancelling admission in each campus, the amount retained by them is Rs. 10.50 Crores (35,000X3000) each year. In addition to this Symbiosis charges additional charges if one is paying the fee online. The fee taken by Symbiosis is in their Savings Accounts so that they earn interest on the money deposited for nearly two months.

Last year, my daughter was aspiring for the admission to BMM in an institute of Mumbai University. The same story was repeated there as well. Rs. 100 was to be paid to each institute towards buying their prospectus where you seek an admission and pay the first term fee of around Rs. 16,000/- with every cut-off list announce by the University. Accordingly, students land up paying first term fee to three institutes given three cut off lists announced. Family of each student is not financially sound enough to pay fee in three institutes. Also, while refunding the fee after 30 days, Rs. 500/- per student is deducted.         

In view of these I would request the Government to consider following suggestions:

  1. Every institute should be available to every student without applying for each institute individually.
  2. Cut-off lists of all the institutes should be declared simultaneously, including IIMs, IITs and all the private institutes.
  3. Students can be asked to submit their online institute’s priority list and based on their score and priority list, he/she should be provisionally admitted in the institute.
  4. GDPI, if necessary, should be conducted at centralized centres, common for each institute. After the availability of GDPI results, students should be asked to pay the fee for the respective institute.
  5. If any prospectus fee is to be paid, that should be payable only to the institute where the student takes the admission.
  6. At the time of admission for reserving the seat only a token amount should be paid and not the entire first term fee.
  7. There should be no or just nominal deductions during fee refunds if the student cancels the admission in any institute.         

Hope, The Department of Higher Education, Ministry of HRD, will consider these points thoughtfully while designing new education policy.

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