Ahmedabad: A new Gujarat law that seeks to regulate fees in private schools is said to have caught the Centre's interest. Gujarat education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Bill, 2017, had piqued the interest of some other states as well.
"After we introduced it (the bill), states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra sought copies. Just yesterday (Tuesday), the Union HRD minister too sought a copy of the bill. It is possible that the Centre is mulling introducing such a law for the benefit of middle-class citizens," the minister told reporters.
The bill, passed by the assembly on March 30, received Gujarat governor O P Kohli's assent on Wednesday.
Its objective is to control the "exorbitant fees" charged by private schools. The bill empowers the government to constitute four 'fee regulatory committees', one each for the state's four zones, to determine "fees for admission to any standard or course of study in self-financed schools".
The fee structure proposed in the bill for primary, secondary and higher secondary schools is Rs 15,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 27,000 per year, respectively.
Schools that wish to charge more will have to approach the regulatory committee, which will have jurisdiction over all private schools, whether affiliated to the Gujarat board, CBSE or international boards.
The committee will also be able to initiate inquiry against and penalise any school found to be charging excess fees. The bill also provides for a 'fee revision committee' chaired by a retired HC judge that schools can approach for fees revision.