Special Correspondent

Allegations should be backed by proof: Ponmudy

CHENNAI: Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy has said if a self-financing engineering college collects fee above what is stipulated by the government, steps to cancel its recognition will be taken with the help of universities.

This is because there was no response from the All India Council for Technical Education when instances of wrongdoing were pointed out last year, he said in response to a question. “Capitation fee is not allowed,” he said while addressing presspersons on Friday.

Mr. Ponmudy asserted that allegations of colleges collecting capitation fee should be backed by proof.

The State government has authorised four officers of the Technical Education Directorate to look into the complaints of excess collection of tuition fees/capitation fees.

Another opinion

Mr. Ponmudy said there was a view that private medical colleges in the country should be subjected to the same kind of stipulations governing engineering colleges. Last year, the Chettinad Medical College, a private facility, refused to give 65 per cent seats to the government quota and went to court. “Why did no one find fault with the institution then?”

Court order

Later, the college, armed with a court order, filled all the seats through the management quota.

Mr. Ponmudy contrasted this attitude with that of self-financing engineering colleges, which, following an appeal by the government, willingly surrendered 65 per cent seats to be filled through the single window system of admission.

He wanted to know how the college, merely commencing operations, got sanction for 150 seats when the norm was only 100 seats. “What is this MCI [Medical Council of India] secret?”

Mr. Ponmudy, facing flak from allied parties, especially the Pattali Makkal Katchi, for the move to hike fees for management quota students in self-financing engineering colleges, said instead of speaking in public, those finding fault with him should speak during the Centre’s cabinet meetings.

Finding fault

“They will only keep finding fault with me, and I am not unaware of this fact,” he added.