The State Government should constitute an independent committee to visit colleges to check if they collected fee in excess of what it had fixed.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, the Secretary, Coimbatore Consumer Cause, K. Kathirmathiyon, has said that without waiting for complaints from parents, who for obvious reasons would not complain against colleges, the Government should proactively form the committee to inspect colleges.

If the Government found that the colleges collected excess fee, it should not hesitate to initiate action and also ask the AICTE to cancel recognition as it would send a strong message to colleges not collect excess fee.

It has become imperative to do so because it students or parents who suffered the most from colleges collecting excess fee. Banks that offered education loans to students extended credit only to the extent of covering Government-approved fee.

They did not include sundry expenses charged by the colleges. This forced the parents to cough out money from their pockets, which went against the spirit of Government regulating fee.

The consumer body was forced to raise the issue because colleges invented new heads to collect fee from the students – there was lunch fee, uniform fee, refreshment charges, miscellaneous fee, conference charges and value added courses fee, to name a few.

This ensured that the colleges collected at least Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 40,000 more than what the Government had fixed, he said.

He pointed out that the Government had fixed Rs. 40,000 for non-accredited courses and Rs. 45,000 for accredited courses under the Government quota of admission and Rs. 70,000 for admission under management quota. In addition to the above, the Government permitted collection of one-time caution deposit not exceeding Rs. 5,000, which was refundable.

Further, the Government had clearly clarified that colleges were not permitted to collect money under any other head. It had also specifically said that the colleges should not collect or levy other recurring or non-recurring fee including capitation fee.

But as the Government had not fixed transportation charges, the colleges had found a loophole to collect money from students. To solve the problem the Government must fix a rate for a km.

Though there were complaints against colleges, not a single college has been penalised, he said.

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