The decision on constituting the high-level committee was apparently taken to verify whether or not the engineering colleges were functioning in accordance with the AICTE norms to impart quality education

Firm on cracking the whip on engineering colleges that fall short of stipulated norms to offer quality education, the government is formulating a high-level supervisory committee and also district and regional level inspection committees.

The State level committee with senior IAS officer S.K. Sinha, IPS officer Umesh Sharaf, Secretary, Council of Higher Education and Commissioner, Technical Education, will evaluate the reports submitted by the district and regional inspection committees on the standards in the engineering colleges, sources said.

The decision on constituting the high-level committee was apparently taken to verify whether or not the engineering and other professional colleges were functioning indeed in accordance with the AICTE norms to impart quality education.

The three-tier inspection committees were felt necessary as it had become commonplace to give favourable reports despite the colleges woefully lacking in standards, sources said. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Rajanarasimha, who holds the Higher Education portfolio, met Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and apprised him of his discussions with the managements of engineering college to finalise the amount to be paid by the government towards fee reimbursement, irrespective of the fee structure in the individual colleges. They also discussed the EAMCET counselling schedule with education department officials.

An official said the objective of several rounds of meetings with college managements was to minimise the burden on the students. Under the Supreme Court directive to have a uniform fee for convener and management quota, some colleges with better facilities would certainly charge a higher fee. “But we are working out on how best to help the students by keeping the amount affordable even if they have to bear the burden to some extent.”

With most of the 704 engineering and professional colleges in favour of an agreement with the government regarding the uniform fee, sources are hopeful that a consensus would be arrived at by Sunday night. The Cabinet sub-committee would meet again on Monday to decide the counselling schedule, likely from August 22 or 23.

The government which is paying Rs.31,000 till now under fee reimbursement scheme may increase it to Rs.35,000. In the colleges where the fee is higher, students would have to bear the remaining amount or choose a college that suits their budget. However, bank loans would be made available to needy students and the government would chip in by paying interest on the loan.