Col­lege told to pay `5.25L for run­ning course with­out nod

Sunday Express - - CHENNAI - MADHUMITHA VISWANATH

FOR of­fer­ing a B.Arch course with­out ob­tain­ing proper ap­proval from All In­dia Coun­cil for Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion (AICTE) for 2005-2006 and for not pro­vid­ing ba­sic ameni­ties to stu­dents, Dr MGR Ed­u­ca­tional and Re­search In­sti­tute was or­dered by the State Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Com­mis­sion to pay `5.25 lakh to a for­mer stu­dent. The com­mis­sion also or­dered the col­lege to re­fund the one-year fee of `87,500 paid.

The mat­ter dates back to June 2005 when Reshmi Di­vakaran, of Kot­tur, joined the Madu­ravoyal branch of the in­sti­tute af­ter pay­ing a fee of `56,600 for the first se­mes­ter along with other fees of `900. In her com­plaint, she said af­ter the course started, she found that classes were not held reg­u­larly due to dearth of teach­ing staff and col­lege buses did not op­er­ate reg­u­larly. “Even af­ter I paid a sep­a­rate fee for trans­porta­tion, I had to go home by my­self as col­lege buses did not run ev­ery­day. Also, the class­rooms were in a di­lap­i­dated con­di­tion. But, I con­tin­ued be­cause I wanted to com­plete the course and get my de­gree,” she said.

She also said dur­ing the 2005 floods, classes were not held as the col­lege was in­un­dated for sev­eral days and a part of the build­ing was razed down by the gov­ern­ment as it was an en­croach­ment built on porom­boke. Though she paid the fee of `30,000 for the sec­ond se­mes­ter, no classes were held. “Later, my friends and I found that the col­lege had not ob­tained ap­proval from Coun­cil of Ar­chi­tects and AICTE, which is re­quired for con­duct­ing B.Arch de­gree classes. Hence, I shifted to an­other col­lege. Be­cause of this, I had to re­peat one year of the course in the new col­lege,” said Reshmi.

The col­lege de­nied all the al­le­ga­tions and said it was a renowned ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion and did not re­quire ap­proval from AICTE or Coun­cil of Ar­chi­tects for of­fer­ing the course. The com­mis­sion said the col­lege did not pro­vide any proof to back its claim of hav­ing ap­proval from the author­i­ties con­cerned.

“Also, the col­lege did not make any al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments to con­duct classes dur­ing the 2005 floods. Al­most all the stu­dents who were ad­mit­ted in B.Arch course left the in­sti­tu­tion as it was not au­tho­rised by AICTE or be­cause classes were not held reg­u­larly. This clearly amounts to de­fi­ciency in ser­vice and un­fair trade prac­tice,” said the com­mis­sion Pre­sid­ing Mem­ber K Baskaran and Me­mer S M Latha Ma­h­eswari.

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