In a setback to the popular system of colleges and coaching classes joining hands to offer an integrated learning space, the state government has ordered one such programme in a Kandivli college to be shut.

In its affidavit submitted to Bombay high court on Monday , the state said the integrated programme to prepare students for the competitive IIT entrance exam run by Sri T P Bhatia College of Science Junior College has been closed. The institute had tied up with Rao IIT Academy to offer additional coaching. In three other cases, Wilson College at Chowpatty , Ram Ratna Vidya Mandir in Bhayander and M J Junior College of Science in Borivli, the state's inspector did not find any evidence that an integrated programme was on.

The Maharashtra Class Owners' Association had in July moved the HC demanding that their peers, who run classes integrated with colleges, be disallowed. Through a writ petition it challenged the new approach that the colleges and coaching classes have devised and named four colleges where such programmes were on. The state government has ordered the integrated programme to prepare students for the competitive IIT entrance exam in a Kandivli college to be shut. The state said this in an affidavit filed in HC on Monday .

Tutorials and colleges join hands to offer an integrated programme where the formal and informal sectors meet, two spaces that never before worked together because of matters such as integrity and clash of interest.

In the case of Bhatia College, students were assured admission if they booked a seat under the integrated course. In fact, brochures of several coaching academies boast of tie-ups they have with colleges. While classes deprived of space enjoy the ready infrastructure of the colleges, the institutes get a hefty rent and a share of the fees charged.

“This is a systematic racket of running integrated courses, thereby ex-facie violating provisions of the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Capitation Fee) Act, 1987. It is obvious that students are joining such courses under compulsion,“ said Narendra Bhambwani, vice-president of the Maharashtra Class Owners' Association.

Whether the state's latest move marks the beginning of the end of the collegeclasses collusion, though, remains to be seen.

In fact, hours after the state filed its affidavit in HC, a phone call to the co-ordinator of the integrated programme at Bhatia College met with a confident response: admissions are on. The co-ordinator, claiming to be Professor Deepak, said admission fees could be paid on Tu esday. “Of course our integrated course is on,“ he said.“You can come and meet us and we will get your child admitted to the course,“ he said.

Classes in the locality said business is on as usual.“The class has collected fees till 2018 and cannot close down the tutorial just like that,“ said a coaching class owner.

Students refused to be quoted but said they have been asked to tell education inspectors only lectures for Class XI and XII are on. Bhatia College officials said the college was operating as per state norms and the class course was run after college hours. “We have sought some clarification from the state,“ the officials said.