Full reimbursement beyond Rs.35,000-cap for certain categories of students

Clearing doubts raised in many quarters, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has announced that the government will fully reimburse the fee beyond the Rs.35,000-cap for admissions in the listed 85 private engineering colleges where the fee is higher for certain categories of students.

The facility will be available to all the SC and ST students, all the students figuring in the top 10,000 ranks, students who passed out from junior colleges in the government sector, and candidates sponsored by the government in the corporate colleges. However, candidates seeking the facility have to fulfil the main criterion of their parents’ annual income being less than Rs.1 lakh per year. In case of SC and ST category students, the income limit is Rs.2 lakh.

At a media conference here on Thursday, Mr. Reddy, however, made it clear that the decision would be subject to final judgment by the Supreme Court on the issue. It is likely to place an additional burden of Rs.100 crore on the exchequer pushing up the total commitment on scholarships/fee reimbursement for weaker sections to a high of Rs.4,000 crore.

He said the Rs.35,000 fee, uniform both for convener and management quotas seats, would be applicable to all the other private colleges. In case of minorities students, reimbursement level would be decided by their department, he added.

With regard to the seats in the management quota, the Chief Minister said the A.P. State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) will monitor the admission process through a software, including the submission of applications online by the students. Details of the students with whom these seats were filled should be uploaded again into the portal of APSCHE. Online filling was stressed as the government wanted the admissions also to be transparent and avoid collection of donations.

The Chief Minister said the infrastructure and maintenance of faculty as per norms as claimed by the 85 colleges would be verified by the Task Force, and fee would be reduced if they were found to be deficient. He said the scholarship reimbursement and fee structure were being delinked for the first time. The managements must upload details of their facilities and also of student/faculty biometric attendance/performance for proper assessment by Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee on regular basis. Mr. Reddy was accompanied by Social Welfare Minister Pithani Satyanarayana heading the Cabinet Sub-Committee dealing with the matter, APCC president and Transport Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, and Ministers B. Saraiah (BC Welfare), P. Balaraju (Tribal Welfare), Syed Mohd. Ahmadullah (Minorities Welfare), S. Shailajanath (Primary Education), C. Ramachandraiah (Endowments) and N. Uttamkumar Reddy (Housing).