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