Fee reimbursement arrears put colleges on the dock. According to Gadde Rajaling, senior member of Federation of Engineering Colleges in AP, the government owes about Rs. 1,300 crore to various colleges in the 13 districts of AP alone.

Fee reimbursement to engineering colleges and other professional courses have been pending since June 2013, and this has put many of the colleges in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, as well, on the dock. It is learnt that about 80 colleges in Telangana and about five in A.P. are contemplating closure. And many have not paid salaries to their faculty since last three months.

According to Gadde Rajaling, senior member of Federation of Engineering Colleges in AP, the government owes about Rs. 1,300 crore to various colleges in the 13 districts of AP alone, and of which about Rs. 800 crore is for engineering colleges. “In Telangana state, the amount outstanding is almost similar,” he said.

C.L.V.R.S.V. Prasad, Principal of GMR Institute of Technology, Rajam, said there was no clarity on the fee reimbursement issue so far. “The fee reimbursement was designed when both the States were together. And there was no clarity even in AP Reorganisation Bill on this issue. It only states that the existing system would continue for the next 10 years. But the Telangana government’s decision to annul the fee reimbursement to students from AP, has made the issue more murky,” said Dr. Prasad.

As per an estimate given by the Telangana government, it would have to shell down about Rs. 1,200 crore for students from AP who are studying in Telangana colleges, while on the other hand the estimate of AP government for Telangana students is about Rs. 150 crore, and this seems to be the bottleneck, said Mr. Rajaling.

In A.P. there are about 358 colleges and in Telangana 326, but many of the students from A.P. are in their second, third and final year of study in colleges in Telangana, especially in colleges located in and around Hyderabad.

According to GMRIT Principal, it is a policy decision and has to be taken in the Cabinet of both the states, as the issue involves more than one ministry such as Higher Education and Social Welfare. “Something has to be done on a war-footing, as it has left colleges, students and parents in limbo,” he said.