The Consortium of Engineering Colleges Managements Association (CECMA) will hold its general body meeting on Monday in Hyderabad to finalise its future course of action with regard to the fee reimbursement issue.

This was decided here at a meeting held by the CECMA representatives of the three districts (Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam) on Sunday. The meeting was chaired by Chairman of Avanti Group of Institutions M. Srinivasa Rao.

Contentious issue

The association, comprising representatives of some 650 engineering colleges spread across the State, is at loggerheads with the government over the fee reimbursement issue.

According to the representatives, the government owes some Rs.3,000 crores to engineering colleges under the fee reimbursement scheme. So far, it has released only Rs.1,200 crores. Over Rs.2,000 crores is pending though the academic year has come to an end.

The fee reimbursement scheme was extended to economically backward students along with the earlier quota for SC/ST and BC students in 2008.

Briefing the press after the meeting, general secretary of the association Rajeswar Reddy said that the future course of action depended primarily on two demands: immediate release of pending Rs.2000 crores and a clear understanding pertaining to the release of the funds for the next academic year.

Earlier, the CECMA had threatened to close the engineering colleges from May 26. In a hastily called meeting to mitigate the threat, the government promised to release Rs.500 crores by May 31 and another Rs.500 crores by June 30.

“The promised releases will definitely give us some succour, but it will not fully address our problems. At present, we are surviving on loans taken from banks and it is becoming a big burden for us. The government also has to come out with a clear statement on the release of the balance pending funds. The released funds will be shared by the colleges on pro-rata basis,” informed secretary and correspondent of Dadi Institute of Engineering and Technology Dadi Ratnakar.

A few principals and mentors of engineering colleges suggested that the government consult senior CECMA representatives before finalising a GO, and the role of the government in the day-to-day affairs of private engineering colleges should be defined.

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