Karnataka Colleges agree not to charge more than Rs. 20,000 as additional amount

A day after the State government gave a diktat that no extra fee can be collected by private, unaided engineering colleges, members of the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering College Association (KUPECA), at a meeting held here on Friday, decided to stick to the old formula of three ceilings on extra fee.

The earlier one-man regulatory monitoring committee for professional course admissions, headed by P. Venkataramaiah, had recommended that different colleges can collect not more than Rs. 10,000, Rs, 15,000 and Rs. 20,000, based on the services they provide, over the amount prescribed by the government. Earlier, private colleges were averse to be being graded and the government too did not accept the categories of colleges.

Now, colleges have agreed to adhere to the earlier recommendation, Panduranga Setty, secretary, KUPECA, said. “Colleges themselves will decide how much they want to charge – Rs. 10,000, Rs. 15,000 or Rs. 20,000. They will put it up on their respective websites the details of the services they have charged for. Those who have collected above this ceiling amount will refund it immediately to the students,” he said. He added that some colleges had decided to make all additional services “optional”, which means only those students who wish to avail those facilities need pay for them. Saying that the categorisation was entirely voluntary, he said policing was not an option and it was up to the colleges to stick to their own ceiling, provided it is not above Rs. 20,000.

However, the college managements’ decision will be communicated to the government only on Saturday. “It is up to the government to accept or reject it. Students can question the college about the lack of service, which depends on the location of the college as the cost of service varies from place to place. But the college alone can decide; the government cannot. Unaided colleges have the liberty to fix the other fee according to a SC judgment,” Mr. Setty said. This decision by the managements is likely to cause further confusion as the government is in two minds about it. On Thursday, the government said no extra fee can be taken. Later, Higher Education Minister R.V. Deshpande said colleges will have to upload the admission and fee details on the Department of Technical Education website, and once this is studied, a final call will be taken after August 15.

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