Pune: State Education Minister Vinod Tawde recently stated in the Legislative Assembly that the draft of the Maharashtra Coaching Classes Regulation Act was ready and would be implemented soon. However, coaching class owners still have objections over many of the clauses mentioned in the draft.
The Act is being brought in order to establish control over mushrooming of private coaching classes across the State. It is being criticised and opposed by coaching classes’ owners, who called it more ‘strangulating’ then ‘regulating’. They said it would cause coaching classes to shut down.
Speaking about the Act, Durgesh Mangeshkar of IIT Prashikshan Kendra said that the Act would infringe on the financial autonomy of these classes and promote a ‘licence raj’.
“Since last January, representatives of private coaching classes have been holding meetings with the drafting committee of the Act to discuss and suggest alterations to the clauses. In December 2017, the draft was made public and we had raised objections over its content. In a couple of meetings that took place in the past six months, we suggested some significant changes in the original clauses. A major one was that earlier, the draft said that fees would be determined by the government. However, now coaching classes will determine fees. If fees are found to be exorbitant, the government can interfere. However, we don’t agree to this as well, as it is again taking away our financial autonomy,” Mangeshkar said.
He said coaching classes are private entities, they pay 18 per cent GST and income tax. He added, “We are not educational institutions. We are commercial training and coaching institutes. Although some of the clauses have been watered down, I still feel that the draft is highly unjust to us.”
Mangeshkar said some other clauses like availability of parking, library, separate washrooms, inspection of the notes by the government to check copyright infringement, etc. have still not been altered. Class owners are unhappy about these.”
Vaibhav Bakliwal of Bakliwal Tutorials said the clauses violate the fundamental rights. “If ‘A’ wants a service and ‘B’ wants to offer it, and ‘A’ is ready to avail the service at the given price, what right does the government have to interfere here? We are not compelling anyone to come and join our classes. People come here at their own will. If anything, the government should try and improve the standard of their own colleges and teachers,” Bakliwal said.
“The curriculum of Std XI and XII is reasoning-based, and because it isn’t taught well in colleges, students come to us. Then why is the government forcing them to attend college and waste their time when they learn so much better here?” Bakliwal questioned.
The coaching class owners also feel that there are many grey areas in the draft, which might possibly lead to corruption and inspector raj.
In order to make their demands heard and protect their rights, coaching class owners will soon be demanding the formation of a Council of Coaching Classes.