There are 11 government and 11 aided engineering colleges, and 12 medical colleges in the State

With the government-quota seats in private professional colleges proposed to be done away with from the coming academic year, will the meagre number of government and aided colleges be able to accommodate all meritorious students from economically backward families?

With the government deciding to implement the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006 from 2014, questions are being raised where such students will go if they are not lucky enough to land a seat in a government or aided college and cannot afford a seat in a private college.

Of the 210 engineering colleges in the State, 11 are government colleges (including one evening college) and 11 are aided colleges. There are three institutions that are constituent colleges of universities: University B.D.T College of Engineering, Davangere, and University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (both day and evening). There are 12 government medical colleges.

When the Karnataka Examinations Authority first announced the seat matrix in 2013, there were 42,231 government and government-quota seats in engineering and 2,221 government and government-quota seats in medical. Now, a large chunk of these seats will be out of bounds for bright students from economically disadvantaged groups as there will only be non-subsidised seats in private colleges.

The fee for a government-quota medical seat was Rs. 46,000, while students had to pay Rs. 38,090 and Rs. 41,590 for a government-quota engineering seat. The fee for a seat in a government medical college was Rs. 16,700 and that for a seat in a government engineering college was Rs. 18,090.

Authorities of government colleges, though optimistic of attracting more number of bright students now (as students who want subsidised seats can no longer hope to get into private colleges), say they can accommodate only a limited number. A government engineering college principal, on condition of anonymity, said the number of seats cannot be increased as the infrastructure would not be correspondingly upgraded.

The Technical Students Federation (TSF) is reviving its long-pending demand for more government engineering colleges. B.V. Ramesh Gowda, TSF president, said no new government engineering college had been started in Bangalore since 1947. “The government kept defending itself saying there are already too many colleges. But now poor meritorious students have to study in government colleges,” he said.

Only medical seat aspirants have some hope as Medical Education Minister Sharanprakash R. Patil said the State could have 16 government medical colleges in all by next year, against the existing 12, provided the Medical Council of India gives recognition to the new ones.

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