Mumbai: As many as six thousand students have been charged excessive fees by the Alamuri Ratnamala Institute of Engineering and Technology (ARMIET) in Thane, confirm the reports filed by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE). Moreover, the DTE reports state that the engineering institute had also submitted false affidavits that allowed it to increase its fees.
A probe into the matter, which was launched late last year, looped in Maharashtra’s Fee Regulation Authority (FRA) to examine the overhead fee amount. Set up in 2015, the FRA considers several factors such as the number of students, marginalised students, teachers, and other institutional expenditures to determine a fee for the various courses offered by the institution. ARMIET allegedly manipulated these figures while submitting the documents to FRA, says the report which goes on to explain that the institute has also deposited these student fees into bank accounts that don’t belong to it.
Students who have recently passed out of the engineering institute have written to the concerned government authorities while attaching the fee receipts to the email. But, to no avail.
“We only found out about this fraudulence after graduating from college,” said a student who finished her B.E. at ARMIET in 2020. “We received this information via our college Whatsapp group and decided to write to the authorities in hopes of getting our money back,” said the student.
ARMIET has also allegedly flouted AICTE norms for good laboratory facilities and fully furnished classrooms. “The college is charging excess fees without providing enough facilities to several rural students,” said Prof. Ram Yadav, a former Mechanical Engineering teacher at the institute.
An investigation of the problems at ARMIET began in 2022. However, neither DTE nor FRA has announced a conclusive decision while the college continues to charge students with excessive fees. Commenting on the delay, Pramod Naik, Joint Director of DTE said, “A report containing all the allegations against ARMIET has been filed and submitted the same to the DTE seniors and the FRA. These authorities would act as the decision-makers in this case.”
Dismissing the claims made by the students, Alamuri Venkateshwara Gupta, Chairman of ARMIET said, “The DTE, FRA, and the college have taken cognizance of the matter brought to us. These complaints are largely politically motivated and students are not bringing their concerns to the administration."
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)