File photo of Lakshya Prep Junior College in Thane
MUMBAI: Cracking the whip on junior colleges run by coaching classes, the state school education department has rejected recognition to eight such institutes in Mumbai for not fulfilling infrastructure norms.
The institutes which have been denied recognition are five Rao Junior Colleges of Science (one each in Andheri, Borivli, Kharghar, Sion and Thane), Pace Junior Science College in Kharghar, and Lakshya Prep Junior College in Thane and Borivli.
In an order issued on June 24, the education department said, “Notices were issued to the managements of these eight schools (junior colleges) about the shortcomings. The response and report have been received but have been unsatisfactory, so the recognition of these schools has been cancelled.”
Affected students to be accommodated in nearby colleges: State
The education department said the managments of the colleges had replied to its notice but since the requirements had not been fulfilled, the recognition of the institutions had been cancelled in accordance with the provisions of the Maharashtra Self Financed School Act of 2012.
Schools or junior colleges first receive permission to start classes and have 18 months to comply with norms before they can seek recognition.
College authorities said they have now fulfilled the norms and have requested the state government to reconsider its order. “We have requested the education minister that in the interest of students and institutions in this Covid lockdown, the order should be reconsidered. We are also compliant with all requirements, so we are confident that we will get the permission for these colleges,” said Vinay Kumar, MD and CEO of Rao IIT Academy, which runs the Rao Junior Colleges.
Praveen Tyagi, MD, IITians’ Pace that runs Pace Junior Science College, said their branch in Kharghar had not yet started operations. “We had only applied for permission but not admitted students. The infrastructure requirements have been met,” he said. Authorites at Mahesh Tutorials, that runs the Lakshya Prep Junior College, were unavailable for comment.
The department has instructed the deputy director of education, Mumbai division, to accommodate the affected students in nearby colleges.
Confirming that they had received the department’s order, deputy director of education Rajendra Ahire said the colleges had not met infrastructure norms and hence would have to shut down.
The matter first came to light in December last year when nearly 600 students from Rao institutes in Borivli, Andheri, Kharghar, Sion and Thane had to be registered through colleges in Kandivli and Powai after the state board denied them an index number due to lack of permissions from the education department.