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Fee Fi Fo Fum

Why do students of South Indian Education Society (SIES) pay higher fees compared to KC, Ruia or even Xavier’s? If you observe carefully, the fees across courses of SIES College, considered one of the best in Mumbai, is higher compared to the same courses in other colleges. When this was brought to our notice we at JAM did a reality check and the figures are for everyone to see.

The figures stated here are the fees for the overall course:
(3-year professional graduation courses)
BMM – Ruia – Rs.30,000
BMM – KC – Rs.30,000
BMM – Somaiya – Rs.24,000
BMM – SIES – Rs.42,000

BMS – MCC – Rs.27,000
BMS – Somaiya – Rs.30,000
BMS – Xaviers – Rs.30,000
BMS – SIES – Rs.42,000

(4-year graduation course)
Engg – DMCOE – Rs.36,000
Engg – Thadomal – Rs.42,000
Engg – VJTI – Rs.23,000
Engg – SIES – Rs.65,000

(2-year professional Post graduation course)
PGDBM – Sydenham – Rs.2.40 lacs
PGDBM – Welingkar – Rs.2.74 lacs
PDDBM – Somaiya – Rs.2.90 lacs
PGDBM – SIES – Rs.3.40 lacs

(Note – Fees per annum for each college are altered from year to year. The above figures are those of the academic year gone by.)

JAM has learnt that over the years SIES has been charging fees against Mumbai University rules.

Confirms Mr Venkat Prabhu, a visiting faculty and member at Mumbai University, “Openly defying the university, which governs admissions to degree
courses, SIES college is charging Rs.800 from
first-year-degree students as contributions towards a development fund.” There are no provisions for such a fund under university rules and colleges are not
supposed to collect charges other than tuition
fees-except under heads sanctioned by the university. SIES also collects Rs.115 as examination fees from students. “These funds,” a student of the college said, “are apparently being used for meeting the expenditure incurred on conducting college exams and assessing papers, among other things.”

A little about the past
In 2003, SIES was in the eye of a storm for demanding 300% more fees from its students than what was allowed by the Director of Technical Education. The students filed two petitions in the Bombay High Court against the college’s demand. The Court ruled in favour of the students on July 15, 2004. However, the college went on appeal against this order in the Supreme Court.

Even as the matter was pending in the Supreme Court, the college decided to withhold final year mark sheets of students unless they paid the fees demanded by the college. However, the college was forced to give the mark sheets when the university threatened to stop admissions to the college. On January 24, 2007, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of SIESGST saying that it had no merit. This was a great victory for the students.

However, SIES’ penchant for collecting higher fees doesn’t seem to have ended. While the university authorities discuss the matter and battle it out, JAM spoke to a few SIES students (current and alumni) about what they think of the whole matter. Are the higher fees justified in terms of better facilities made available to students? The answer seems to be an emphatic “no!” Says Tanya Kapoor, alumnus of SIES-MCA, “Our College charges an enormous amount of fees but no quality education or infrastructure is provided. All you will see is temples and more temples. And so you know where all your money is going. They are charging around Rs.68,000 a year for MCA which is much higher than other colleges.

Says another student Ramya Parthiban, SIES-BMS, “The course is good but some of
the faculty is poor. They give a lot of ‘gas’. They have no
knowledge about the subjects they teach, and if you ever ask them a doubt they’ll never be able to answer it.”

“There are three computer labs out of which two are for the MCA students. We are a class of 60 students and the bigger lab has around 35-40 computers but more than 60% of the computers don’t work so we end up
sitting around 3-4 students per computer,” says a PG student who did not wish to be named.

After repeatedly trying to speak to the Principal of SIES, Sion and Nerul, they were unavailable for comments. We also tried to get in touch with the BMM co-coordinator and also sent her text messages but to no avail. However, we think we have already got an answer.

– SURYA RAGUNAATHAN

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