Apex court has nailed it again
The Supreme Court’s decision to scrap capitation fee, deeming it illegal and unethical, is a welcome development. Recent years have seen private medical, engineering and business colleges grow like mushrooms on the wet soil of Indian academic sector, compromising it heavily and tilting the balance against quality education. The upfront money demanded by a large number of these private medical and engineering colleges has been a practice much condemned, and the Court was right to point out that despite constitutional pronouncements by the highest judicial body in the country, no heed was paid by these private institutions, which had turned academics into a racket for profiteering. The bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri, therefore, should be commended for their bold decision to come down heavily against this unscrupulous practice that put the students’ years of education, money and training at risk. Evidently, the Supreme Court’s order directing the central government, ministry of health and family welfare, the CBI as well as the intelligence wing to take effective remedial measures so as to ensure absolute stoppage of this unethical practice, comes in good faith and at the right time. Moreover, the court’s order also calls into question the quality of education imparted at these overcharging institutions, especially the ones that emphasise job guarantee after the years of training, often without any substance in them. Thus, not only do the individual students suffer once they get out of the institutions armed with spurious degree that is, more often than not, unrecognised by a central or state university, but this compromises an entire generation of students in the technical training sector, whose poor quality educational in turn affects the work force, heavily limiting the skills and versatility required to get a job.