Nitish Kumar govt says can't stop steep fee hikes in private schools

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The Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government today expressed inability to put a lid on steep fee hike in private schools saying the central legislation did not give the mandate to states to do this in non-governmental schools.

The Right to Education Act, 2009, formulated by the Union government, does not have any such provision, Bihar Education minister P K Shahi said in the Assembly.

The Act only makes it mandatory to reserve 25 per cent of seats in private schools for deprived section of the society and mentions nothing on controlling fee hike, he said in reply to a short notice question of JD(U) member Manjit Kumar Singh.

The minister said the House needs to ponder if it could make any law for regulating fee increase in private schools and whether such legislation would be approved by the President.

Another JD(U) MLA, Ranvijay Singh, demanded that private schools should be stopped from charging exorbitantly from parents.

In reply to another question in Assembly on the government providing grant to affiliated colleges, Kumar said the government began providing performance-based grant to these institutions since March 2009.

He supported JD(U) member Chhedi Paswan's demand that reservation policy should be strictly followed in appointments in these institutions.

The chief minister, however, categorically said the state government had no plan to take over such institutions.

Education minister P K Shahi said the government would keep in mind to enforce reservation policy in these institutions while formulating policy for them.

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