Student activists of the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) blocked traffic on National Highway 66 at Nantoor here on Friday in protests against the State government’s order allowing private colleges to collect “excess” fees.

Accusing the government of reneging on its promise to aid poor students, Ramesh K., State secretary of the organisation, said that the Congress-led administration was instead “doing all it could” to aid private colleges. “Even the CET (Common Entrance Test) medical counselling was intentionally delayed so that COMEDK (Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka) counselling could take place earlier. It is clear that the present government is supporting private institutes,” he said.

The protest in the city was a part of a State-wide protest called by the ABVP, the students’ wing of the BJP. The organisation believed that the poor students would be shunted out of the higher education system because of the indiscriminate approval to collect excess fees upwards of Rs. 10,000. “The government should take stringent action against college owners taking excess fee,” Mr. Ramesh said.

The ABVP also demanded that the Karnataka Examination Authority set its act right. Activists berated the authority for circulating a 2009 question paper that led to the diploma CET being conducted again.

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