Saidapur committee receives scores of complaints on excess fee

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Bangalore, Aug 16:Within five days of its functioning, the S K Saidapur Committee on fee monitoring and regulation has received about 150 complaints and queries.

The last day for colleges to put up details of the fee collected for the academic year also came to an end on Thursday.

While some colleges put the list up, many were yet to do so. The Higher Education department had instructed the colleges to put up details of the fee collected, in order to ensure that no college charged excess fee apart from the amount prescribed by the government.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Prof Saidapur said that of the 150 registered complaints, several were admission-related queries. Complaints specifically related to excess fee were about 80, he said.

He reiterated his request to students and parents to formally register their complaints through e-mail (instead of telephone) so that the committee could keep track of the issues raised. He also urged candidates and colleges to inform the committee about the results of the intervention which would help them analyse the effectiveness of its role.

Not defined

There still seems to be no clarity on the definition of ‘excess fee’ from the government’s end. A month ago, the State government announced three categories of colleges that could collect a fee of Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000, based on the group they fell into. Later, the government denied having made any such announcement and warned colleges of strict action if they collected anything above the government-stipulated fee.

Now, the one-man committee has stuck to the cateogorisation of colleges, based on what was decided among the colleges themselves, through the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges’ Association.

Prof Saidapur said he was not aware of any decision by the government where there was complete prohibition on additional fee. Even going by the categories, the committee has been able to achieve results, he said.

“I am seeing good response for the intervention. In several cases where colleges were harassing students by not giving back their original certificates during change of seats in the successive round of counselling, the committee was able to intervene effectively. Also, some colleges were charging in excess of Rs 20,000. In such cases, we have asked colleges to refund the excess amount.”

Higher education department officials were not available for comment. While some of the colleges have put up details of additional fees up to Rs 20,000 under various services on offer for students, the government is yet to declare whether or not it will consider them as excess fee.

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