Srinagar: The J&K government has notified new fees rules for aided and unaided private schools of Jammu and Kashmir to bring them under an appropriate regulatory framework.
The rules have been notified by the J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha in exercise of the powers conferred to him under section 29, read with sections 20A, 20B and 20C of the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act 2002, according to the official notification.
As per the notification issued by the Principal Secretary School Education Department (SED), Bishwajit Kumar Singh, the rules will be called as the Jammu and Kashmir Private Schools (Fixation, Determination and Regulation of Fee) Rules, 2022 and will come into force at once.
As per the new rules, the Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) for the private schools will be empowered to fix, determine and regulate the fee to be charged and collected by a private school.
The fee fixed and determined by the committee will be valid for three years. “However, in case a school seeks any modification in the fee structure fixed and determined by the committee within the prescribed time period, it shall apply to the committee for the same,” the notification reads.
The committee will also hear complaints with regard to the charging and collection of fee in excess of the fee determined by it.
“If the committee, after obtaining the material comes to the conclusion that the private school has collected excess fee of the fee fixed, determined and regulated by the Committee, it shall recommend to the appropriate authority for the cancellation of the recognition or registration of the private school or for any other course of action as it deems fit in respect of the school,” the notification reads.
It further reads that all such recommendations made by the committee shall be implemented by the appropriate authority within a reasonable time as per procedure laid down.
“The committee will be empowered to require each private school to place before the committee the proposed fee structure of such school with all relevant documents and books of accounts for scrutiny within such date as may be specified by the Committee,” the notification reads.
The committee will be authorized to obtain any information from the private school as may be required by it for the examination of the fee structure of the institution.
The committee has been vested with the powers to verify whether the fee proposed by the private school is justified and it does not amount to profiteering or commercial of education.
“The committee will approve the fee structure or fix and determine some other fee that can be charged by the private school,” the order reads.
As per the new rules, the committee has been empowered to verify that the fees collected by the private school affiliated to the affiliating body commensurate with the standard of education and other related facilities provided by the private school to the students.
“The committee can recommend the appropriate authority for disaffiliation of the private school, if it comes to a conclusion that the private school has charged and collected highly excessive fee,” the notification reads. As per the new rules, the committee will be authorised to regulate its own procedure in all matters arising out of the discharge of its functions and have all the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1977 while trying a suit.