Putting an end to fee-hike controversy in DAV public schools in Odisha, the Supreme Court (SC) permitted the group’s management to revise its fee in tune with recommendations of fee structure committee.
Despite objections from the parents’ association, the apex court directed the present managing committee to continue in office. “We welcome the court’s decision and will implement it after getting a copy of the order,” said regional director of DAV institutions, Odisha, K C Satpathy.
The apex court, however, cautioned the institution, “If a private educational institution has met all the requirements of obtaining no objection certificate and affiliation then its claim for revision of fees should be considered expeditiously on permissible parameters.”
The controversy started in 2009-10 when the school authorities increased the tuition fee on the plea of implementing the Sixth Pay Commission for teaching and non-teaching staff. Parents’ associations objected to it and moved the Orissa high court.
The high court endorsed an earlier ruling that DAV schools come under Orissa Education Act and said the hike was ‘contrary to law’.
Challenging the order, the school management moved the Supreme Court, which in an interim order in May 2012 asked the state government to form a committee to decide the fee structure.
Subsequently, the committee had recommended a three-fold hike in fee with retrospective effect from June 2012. This led to widespread protests from parents across the state followed by class boycott by teachers and students.
Later, the government asked the school authorities not to hike the fee till the final order of the SC.
On April 1, the court completed hearing in the case and reserved its verdict.
“The apex court order is final and we will obey it. We are also thankful to the court that it did not allow the school to impose the hike with retrospective effect,” said president of All Odisha DAV Parents’ Coordination Committee Aptakam Mishra.
There are around 30,000 students in 40 DAV schools in the state. Four each are located in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. (TOI)