Government for inspections to ensure requisite infrastructure and faculty strength

After failing to convince the college managements to agree for a small hike in the engineering courses fee this year, the government is apparently using the ‘inspection’ threat to persuade them.

Even as the pressure mounts on the government to finalise the fee structure as per the Supreme Court recent directions, a meeting held between the Ministers and college managements has not yielded the expected results. The college managements were apparently sent veiled threats of carrying out inspections for the requisite infrastructure and faculty strength, and action on the erring institutions.

The Ministers including Damodar Rajanarsimha, Botsa Satyanarayana and Pitani Satyanarayana apparently said the government was willing to increase the fee by about Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 across the board and colleges should not insist on the fee fixed by the AFRC based on the affidavits submitted to the Supreme Court for the next two years. The AFRC has suggested fee ranging from Rs. 45,000 to Rs. 75,000 in 120 colleges.

Representatives of 120 colleges initially argued for the increase suggested by the AFRC but they were willing to back out if the increase was Rs. 10,000 across the board. The 600-odd colleges that didn’t submit declaration forms with the AFRC wanted increase across the board rather than only the 120 colleges. The government also offered increase in the management quota fee but there were no takers.

Interestingly, if the government increases fee as per AFRC suggestions in 120 colleges the additional burden would be around Rs. 50 crores but if it is an increase across the board burden would shoot up to Rs. 150 crore.

“The discussions, however, indicated that the government is firm on continuing the fee reimbursement scheme, and it was willing to take the additional burden if it was in reasonable limits,” an official told The Hindu.

Sympathetic Ministers

The Ministers, an official said, were sympathetic to the managements’ arguments and assured that they would have increased the fee as per the managements’ wishes but for the fee reimbursement scheme.

At one stage the Ministers apparently pleaded with the college managements to save the fee reimbursement scheme by not insisting on the fee hike.

Officials said the issue is likely to be sorted out in a couple of days and the admission notification would be issued soon. Most probably, counselling may begin in second week of August, the official said.