The extra fee being collected by colleges seems to have hit lateral entry diploma students seeking engineering seats also.

A. Shamshuddin, a lateral entry engineering aspirant, found that the college he was allotted was charging an extra fee of Rs. 19,000 over the fee of Rs. 41,590 prescribed by the Karnataka Examinations Authority. Speaking to The Hindu, he said: “I was allotted Vivekananda Engineering College, Puttur, through D-CET. When I approached the college for the admission procedure, I was told to pay Rs. 19,000 without which my admission would not be complete.” The last day to complete the admission procedure is August 5.

When Shamshuddin contacted Higher Education Minister R.V. Deshpande, he was directed to the one-man committee, from where he was redirected to the KEA helpline. “The KEA helpline was constantly busy, but when I finally got through to a KEA officer, he informed me that colleges would normally ask for an extra fee of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000,” he said.

The college authorities refused to disclose the exact amount being collected and also did not wish to comment on the matter.

Members of the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering College Association (KUPECA) decided to stick to the three ceiling formula on extra fee here on Friday.

While the fee being charged by the college was within the ceiling of Rs. 20,000, the college would have to justify the fee it is collecting under each subhead, said Panduranga Setty, secretary, KUPECA. The ceiling, which is entirely voluntary, is subject to scrutiny by the one-man regulatory committee headed by S.K. Saidapur. Mr. Setty said: “If it is found that the college is unable to justify the fee it is collecting, then it will be directed to refund the fee or adjust it.”

When contacted, Mr. Deshpande’s office suggested that students contact Mr. Saidapur regarding any doubts they may have about the extra fee being charged.