Heads of institutions unanimously voiced their disapproval of the extra fee ceiling set for colleges by the government at the meeting of Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association (KUPECA) here on Saturday.
The meeting, which was aimed at clearing the confusion over the extra fee issue, failed to do so in the absence of the one-man regulatory committee headed by S.K. Saidapur, who could not attend the meeting. Parents of the students, who had also been invited to the meeting, were also conspicuous by their absence.
M.K. Panduranga Setty, secretary, KUPECA, said that it was not possible to set a uniform ceiling as the cost of extra services offered by colleges depended mostly on the cost per student incurred by the college, which was completely dependent on the number of students enrolled in the college.
Principal of R.V. College of Engineering B.S. Satyanarayana pointed out that compliance agencies demanded that colleges provide salaries according to the Sixth Pay Commission, employ a prescribed number of technical and non-technical staff, provide laboratories and so on. Hence, fixing a uniform limit on the extra fee charged by colleges was “unrealistic”.
Members of the association wanted the government to look into the cost per student of government colleges, the National Institutes of Technology and the like to fix a more realistic ceiling on the fee. Colleges have, for now, made certain services optional for students, but the common refrain among academics was that if students did not receive the extra training offered by the college they would not stand a chance in the industry. Meanwhile, when The Hindu contacted Mr. Saidapur, he said that as of now the ceiling set had been helpful in reining in colleges that had been charging extra fee. The three-tier ceiling, which is an interim process put in place, is likely to change next year with colleges having to follow the Karnataka Professional Education Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006 which will prescribe a uniform fee for every college by taking into account the facilities and services offered, said Mr. Setty.