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Private varsity wants no scrutiny

Atul Patankar

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Atul Patankar

As reported by Bosky Khanna at dnaindia.com on September 12, 2009


Bangalore: Are deemed universities, granted their status by the University Grants Commission (UGC), beyond the ambit of the Right to Information Act, 2005?



An RTI application was filed on August 12 this year after activists were informed that students who had quit mid-stream were not refunded their fees.


The activists asked Christ University to inform them of the number of students admitted, the number of those who quit mid-stream, and details of the repayment of their fees for academic year 2009-10.


The University flatly refused to respond to the application, claiming it does not fall within the purview of the RTI Act.


"We have to submit that Christ University is not a public authority within the meaning of the provisions contained in the said Act and hence not obliged to furnish the information called for," the University wrote in its reply.


When contacted, a spokesperson for the University who wished to remain unnamed said, "Christ University is a deemed university. The definition of a deemed university is vague, but we are not like any public university."


The RTI application was filed after three students who had applied for a Masters in Travel Administration programme on May 18, 2009 chose to drop out after attending classes for about a month--from June 15 to July 18, 2009. Each of the students paid Rs75,000 as the fees for the course.


Before leaving the course, they initiated correspondence to seek refund of fees. Despite several attempts, they were unable to get back the full amount. Two students were made a partial refund of Rs17,750, while a third awaits communication from the University.


One of the students seeking a refund said, "I wrote three letters to the University, and got one response --that only limited information can be disseminated in the matter, and a partial refund of Rs17,750 would be made. I do not understand the basis for the reduction in the refund money. I left the course as I decided that I needed to find work. Another of my classmates has also received a similar sum as refund." A third student too had dropped out of the course, and is still to hear from the University.


The spokesperson explained, "The rule is that we deduct Rs1000 as correspondence fee. If a student chooses to drop out without having attended any classes, we return the all the rest of the money charged as fees. In cases where students have attended classes, there is a reduction of the sum refunded. If the student has attended classes for 15-30, a ten per cent reduction is made; for 31-41 days, 15 per cent is deducted, over and above the Rs1000 that they are charged as correspondence fees. I am unaware of the basis on which Rs17,500 was refunded in these cases, I will have to check."



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can any one tell me what happened to the RTI application




This is only a news item reposted by Atul.

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