Pvt colleges say govt decision on extra fee ‘unacceptable’

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panduranga Setty

M K Panduranga Setty

Bangalore, August 1, 2013:  Private engineering colleges say they will not accept any decision by the government which completely bars them from charging extra fee.

Even as the Minister for Higher Education, R V Deshpande, warned erring colleges of disaffiliation, at a press conference on Thursday, M K Panduranga Setty, the chairman of Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges’ Association who was present on the occasion, clarified that the colleges had not agreed to any such decision. Setty cut the minister short and maintained that the decision was still “under negotiation”.

Private colleges have been urging the government to allow them to charge additional fee as the stipulated fee is “too little” to meet the infrastructure demands. Deshpande, however, said, “We have asked the colleges not to charge any additional fee this year.

From the next year onwards, the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006, would be enforced. It will make the fee process more transparent,” he said. But Setty countered him, saying the matter was “being negotiated”. “I would like to bring to your notice that no conclusion has been reached regarding the issue,” he told the minister.

Setty told reporters that it was impossible for colleges to sustain with the existing fee structure. His institution, the RV College of Engineering (RVCE), spends Rs 2.35 lakh per student every year. Besides, colleges have to appoint PhD holders as lecturers, in order to meet the quality benchmark for accreditation. Unless paid well, no highly qualified person would take up the offer, he explained.

“At RVCE, all but two professors have doctorates. Their average salary is about Rs one lakh. The non-teaching staff also demands paychecks that justify their effort. With the fee prescribed by the government, colleges would have to shut down,” he said.  The Act prescribes different fee for each college based on its infrastructure. If implemented, RVCE can charge as much as Rs 2.35 lakh per annum for a student.

Colleges welcome the implementation of the Act, as they can get back the amount invested. “Else, let the government run the colleges. I will be happy to hand over the administration,” Setty quipped.

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