Options being considered are annual consensual agreement with pvt colleges or following AICTE’s single-fee structure.
With the Common Entrance Test (CET) season about to start, the state government is in a fix; whether to go for the annual consensual agreement with the private colleges or follow the All India Council for Technical Education’s (spell out its stand at the earliest. Every year, the state enters a consensual agreement with the private colleges for fixing an annual fee for engineering, medical, dental and architecture courses. This fee structure is revised and is the same fee charged in every college of the state across the courses. For example, last year’s consensual agreement fee for engineering was Rs 45,000 and Rs 50,000, while it was Rs 62,500 for medical. However, AICTE says that they want a single-fee structure in all the colleges (including autonomous and deemed universities) of the country, and that the maximum fee charged by a college shouldn’t exceed Rs 1.58 lakh. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association (KUPECA) secretary, MK Panduranga Setty, said, “We are expecting a call from the government but haven’t heard anything from them so far. We need a clear-cut stand as we are ready for both the options.” A top education department official said, “The government is in two minds. The pan-India fee structure may be supported by private colleges and would bring uniformity across the country. However, it will be a financial burden on the students.
If at all the AICTE plans gets a green signal, then the state government should invest more money for scholarships so that poor meritorious students are not left out. However, for the time being, the consensual agreement may work in favour of the government as it comes with a lower fee compared to the AICTE proposal.” It may be recalled that the private college managements had demanded a fee hike for CET 2016, in the range of 15 to 20 per cent, compared to last year’s fee. Based on the case of TMA Pai Foundation, the Supreme Court ordered that every state government should constitute a committee to fix the ceiling on the fees chargeable by a professional college or class of professional colleges, as the case may be. The government- appointed committee should fix the fee once every three years until the national fee committee fixes such norms. Though in previous instances the Karnataka government had appointed committees for the fixing of fees, it could not implement it following a backlash from students. AICTE had constituted a committee at the national level to suggest the fee and its component to be charged in AICTE-approved technical institutions in various disciplines under the chairmanship of Ranganath Mishra, former Chief Justice of India, for prescribing guidelines for charging of tuition and other fees and admission of students in technical institutions. After the demise of Mishra, AICTE reconstituted the committee under the chairmanship of former Supreme Court Justice BN Sri Krishna. The committee had given its report in December 2015. It wanted a cap on the maximum tuition fee charged in engineering colleges at Rs 1.44 lakh to 1.58 lakh. The committee had also said that in case of centres of excellence (autonomous and deemed), they could charge another 10 to 20 per cent more than the prescribed fee. – Courtesy