Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Even as the engineering colleges gear up to take on the government over the issue of fee hike, officials have found that the engineering fee structure in the three other Southern States is much lesser.

In Karnataka, fee for engineering courses is Rs. 25,000 for the 50 per cent seats under the government quota filled through a common entrance test.

The remaining 50 per cent seats are filled through COMED-K with a fee of Rs. 1.25 lakh. There is a poor and meritorious quota in government seats where the fee is Rs. 15,000.

In Tamil Nadu, 65 per cent seats are meant for government quota for which the fee is Rs. 30,000 and the remaining 35 per cent is meant for Management quota for which the prescribed fee is Rs. 60,000. In Kerala, fee for 50 per cent of seats under convenor quota in private colleges is 25,000 per year while Rs. 65,000 is prescribed for the 35 per cent management quota. Fee for the remaining 15 per cent in private colleges is Rs. 35,000.

Interestingly, colleges here have been demanding enhancement of fee citing the fee structure in different States in the country. Under pressure from the colleges, the State government constituted a committee of senior officials to study the fee structure in the neighbouring States.

The team consisting of A.R. Biswal, Principal Secretary, Higher Education; K.C. Reddy, Chairman, APSCHE and L. Premchandra Reddy, Commissioner, Technical Education, has already toured Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra while they will also visit Kerala.

Officials say the study will undermine the colleges' argument on the fee. “Our fee structure is much higher comparatively in several aspects,” an official said.

Interestingly, colleges are citing fee of some North Indian States where colleges are few and also the aspirants. Fee prescribed for State engineering colleges is Rs. 32,400 under convenor quota and Rs. 91,000 for management quota.

Student-teacher ratio

Colleges, however, argue that fee has to be enhanced to at least 45,000 if quality education has to be provided as per AICTE norms. To maintain the prescribed student-teacher ratio and provide good laboratories, enhancement is must or else students will suffer in the long run.

“Fee has to be realistic and the government should come up with a decent cut-off figure and give freedom for colleges to fix the fee there upon depending on the quality of the college,” a representative of private colleges opined.