We are also fighting for transparency in the school admission process.
Mumbai-based doctor-turned social activist, Vivek Korde is the chairman of ‘Forum against commercialisation of education’. This forum was formed in 2003 after he received many complaints about irregular fee hikes by educational institutes. Korde began crusading against the exploitation of students by educational institutes and for rationalisation of the fee structure. His latest agitation is with regards to the Chiplun-based BKL Walawalkar Rural Medical College which allegedly raised fees by 86% in just one year, from ₹3.90 lakh to ₹7.25 lakh. He was in Pune to speak to journalists and create awareness about the issue. Excerpts from the interview to
Tell us something about your latest agitation.
Our latest agitation is about the extraordinary fee hike at Walawalkar Rural Medical College in Chiplun. The students have been slapped with an unprecedented fee hike of 86% from ₹3.90 lakh per year to ₹7.25 lakh.
Many parents approached us regarding this. We have also urged the chief minister to look into this matter.
Do you only focus on professional colleges and courses or also on issues relating to school education?
We are not only fighting for issues in higher education but also school education. Let me give you an example of EBC (Economically Backward Class) scholarships. Earlier, this scholarship was limited to a maximum of ₹20,000. We agitated intensely on this issue to raise the amount and now a medical student from EBC segment can avail scholarship up to ₹6 lakh. We are also fighting for transparency in the school admission process. Earlier, there was just one round under the CAP (Centralised Admission Process) for professional courses. We stressed on this issue and raised it to three rounds which has helped students in a big way.
The government has released a GR (Government Resolution) stating that private institutes should compulsorily provide ‘freeships’ to poor but meritorious students. Many private institutes have been denying
this concession. What is your view in this regard?