State keen to fix med, engg college fees

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Bangalore, May 22: The Karnataka government is keen on implementing the provisions of a 2006 law to regulate admission and determine the fee structure in private medical, dental and engineering colleges.

The move will result in students of all categories paying tution fees as fixed by a fee regulatory committee constituted by the government.

At present, the government is going by an agreement under which the fees are fixed by the Karnataka Examination Authority, which conducts Common Entrance Test for professional courses, the Comed-K and managements.

In case the Congress government goes back to adopt the provisions under the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006, then there will be no Comed-K quota. The fees for a general merit student or for a student falling under the reservation category will be uniform, but it will be different for each college.

The State, in 2011, set aside the recommendation of the  B Padmaraj committee on the fixing of fees because the government had found that fees for students of the government quota would go up considerably.

The committee report was never made public. The government was not in favour of making meritorious students or those falling under reservation to pay higher fees. It was also not ready to take the burden of paying the additional fees on behalf of students.

But it was said that the maximum tuition fee for a premier engineering college could be around Rs 1.25 lakh while the minimum was Rs 30,000. Now, for the merit quota and reservation quota, the fees is much lower than the committee’s recommendation.

Hence, the BJP government settled for an agreement under which the Comed-K used to conduct tests and admit students to private unaided colleges.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah convened a meeting of representatives of private colleges on Wednesday in Vidhana Soudha. The meeting remained inconclusive with private colleges keen on getting tuition fee increased by at least 30 per cent.

Counselling put off

The counselling for post-graduate dental courses, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed till furter notice. “It will be decided at the earliest,” said Dr D Prem Kumar, registrar,  Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS).

As far as the seat sharing for MBA and MCA are concerned, Prof Maheshappa, vice chancellor, Visvesvaraya Technological University said that there will be a review meeting to  decide on the issue.

Siddaramaiah told reporters that one more round of talks would be held as decisions could not be taken in a hurry.

Minister of State for Medical Education Sharanprakash Patil said the government was keen to invoke the provisions of the 2006 law to regulate admission and determine the fee structure in private colleges.

Patil told reporters that provisions of the law would ensure that private professional colleges earmark 50 per cent of seats for the scheduled castes, the scheduled tribes and other backward classes. Besides, the fee structure would be determined by a “fee regulatory committee” and admission would be monitored by an “admission overseeing committee.” Both the committees would be headed by retired high court judges.

“When there is legislation to regulate admissions to private professional colleges, why not implement it ? We will take a decision in the next few days,” the minister said.
However, time is running out as all post-graduate admissions will have to be completed by May 31 as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

Patil said the government has filed an interlocutory application before the Supreme Court seeking extension of the last date for admissions.

Patil expressed concern that once the provisions of the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006, is invoked, all students will have to pay uniform fees as fixed by the fee regulatory committee.

“At present, merit students get subsidy in fees under the consensual agreement. The subsidy will have to be done away with and all students will have to pay uniform fees if the  provisions of the act are invoked. We will have to consider all aspects before arriving at a final decision,” Patil added.

Patil said his government would give priority to set up government medical colleges in all districts in the coming years.

“Medical colleges will serve as super-speciality centres and patients tend to get better service at the hospitals attached to the government medical colleges,” Patil pointed out.


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