The Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to increase the cost to Rs 24 lakhs per annum, which is seven times more than the fee imposed earlier, is not at all justified, the supreme court stated on Monday, noting that education is not a business to earn profit and tuition rates shall always be affordable.
Details about According to the Supreme Court, tuition fees must be reasonable because education is not a for-profit enterprise
On Monday, a bench of justices led by MR Shah and Sudhanshu Dhulia upheld the Andhra Pradesh high court’s judgment to overturn the state government’s decision to increase the tuition fees owed by MBBS students.
The Andhra Pradesh government increased the tuition charges for MBBS students by government decree dated September 6, 2017.
According to the court, “We are of the opinion that the high court has not committed any error in quashing and setting aside the government decree of September 6, 2017, increasing the tuition fee for the block years 2017-2020.”
“It was not justified at all to increase the charge to Rs 24 lakhs per annum, which is seven times the fee established earlier. The goal of education is not to make money. The court ruled that the cost of tuition must always be reasonable.
The court stated that the tee determination/review shall be within the parameters of the fixation rules and shall have a direct nexus with the factors mentioned in Rule 4 of the Rules, 2006, which include the location of the professional institution; the nature of the professional course; the cost of available infrastructure; the expenditure on administration and maintenance; and a reasonable surplus required for the professional institution’s growth and development.
The court stated that the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC) must consider these elements while determining/reviewing tuition fees.
The court further stated that the Andhra Pradesh high court made no mistakes in granting directives to reimburse the tuition fee collected under the government order of September 6, 2017. “As a result, the High Court is completely justified in quashing and setting aside the government order dated September 6, 2017,” the court stated.
“The management cannot be allowed to keep the money recovered/collected as a result of the illegitimate government decree dated September 6, 2017.” The medical colleges are the beneficiaries of the illegal government order dated September 6, 2017, which is rightly set aside by the high court, the court said, noting that medical colleges used the money for a number of years and kept it with them for a number of years, while students paid the exorbitant tuition fee after obtaining a loan from financial institutions and banks and paying a higher rate of interest.
“As a result, even the high court’s orders to refund the amount of tuition fee collected pursuant to government order of September 6, 2017, after reducing the amount payable as per the earlier determination are not necessary to be interfered with,” the court stated. With these views, the Supreme Court dismissed the medical college’s petitions against the Andhra Pradesh high court’s ruling.