Bengal to make policy on fees, donations charged by educational institutions

Kolkata, March 3 (IANS) After bringing in a law to rein in private health facilities, the West Bengal government on Friday announced it will formulate a policy to put a check on huge fees and donations charged by private educational institutions in the state.

Addressing the assembly, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said while there were many private schools, colleges and universities doing a good job in the field, “there are some who are charging excessively and asking for exorbitant donations”.

“I have nothing against those who can and are willing to pay. That’s their right. But I feel there has to be some control,” Banerjee said, as she suddenly brought up the issue while speaking on the West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017.

The Bill contains harsh steps like jail term and stiff fines aimed at reducing astronomical medical bills charged by hospitals and nursing homes and curb medical negligence. The Bill was passed by the house during the day.

Banerjee said she wanted to sit with authorities of private educational institutions and will ask Education Minister Partha Chatterjee to arrange for a meeting once the secondary and higher secondary examinations are over.

The Chief Minister clarified that her government did not wish to interfere with the autonomy of private institutions or infringe on anybody’s rights.

“I will ask those, who consider education as a form of service, to give me a plan; I will welcome them. I want to formulate a policy where neither they (educational institutions) nor the common people are inconvenienced,” she added.