Cracking the whip on professional colleges that have collected excess fee from students, the State government has directed them to reimburse the amount to students. The government has also threatened to initiate action against the erring colleges, if they failed to do so.

The decision to ask the professional colleges to return excess fee collected from students was taken after officials from the Higher Education Department met with members of the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMED-K) and the Karnataka Religious and Linguistic Minority Professional Colleges Association (KRLMPCA) here on Friday.

Speaking to The Hindu, Higher Education Minister C.T. Ravi said the government has decided to define “necessary fees” and “abnormal fees” for this purpose. “The college managements said that some extra fee was collected for library, sports and skill development for campus placements. This comes up to Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000. This is acceptable. Anything above this amount should be returned to the students,” he said.

The government has the data of erring colleges compiled by the P. Venkataramaiah Committee based on the complaints it received, he added.

Mr. Ravi said action will be taken against colleges that do not reimburse the excess amount collected. This may include cancellation of their affiliation or complaining to the All India Council for Technical Education, he said.

Later in the day, the Minister chaired another meeting with the Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of various universities in the State and the office-bearers of the Karnataka State Higher Education Council. The participants are said to have concurred on uniform fee structure for M.E., M.Tech, MCA and MBA courses offered in government colleges, private unaided institutions and Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) regional and extension centres.

Transfer

The Higher Education Department may also introduce the inter-university transfer system next academic year. “It will act like a pooling system. Every college or university does not have all the courses. It will be beneficial for students who wish to pursue a course which may not be available in his/her college elsewhere,” Minister Ravi said.

On the appointment of Bangalore University’s Vice-Chancellor, the Minister said, “We have just appointed an acting Vice-Chancellor. The process to appoint a new person is under way.”

The notification for the formation of the search committee for this purpose has already been given, according to sources.

Mr. Ravi also spoke about plans to ensure that IAS or KAS officers are appointed to the post of Registrar (Administration) in varsities in the State.

“There is a provision for this in the Karnataka State Universities Act 2000. Only if such officers are not available a senior professor can take charge,” he said.