Government flayed for not consulting other parties
Party to consult legal experts on the issue
CHENNAI: The Pattali Makkal Katchi on Friday denounced the State government for the decision to hike the annual fee for seats under the management quota in self-financing engineering colleges from Rs.32,500 to Rs.62,500 .
Terming the move unacceptable, PMK founder S. Ramadoss told a press conference here that it would affect students and push them and their parents into debt trap. It would send out a message that only the moneyed class could afford higher education, besides creating deep social division.
Questioning the rationale behind the N.V. Balasubramanian Committee recommendation, Dr. Ramadoss leader asked what was the justification for the increase. Did representatives of engineering colleges tell the committee that their institutions were facing bankruptcy? Did representatives of the public and educationists petition the committee to raise the fee? If so, the State government should make public the details.
Going by the data available with Anna University, Chennai, there were 1.1 lakh seats in 271 self-financing engineering colleges. Given that 35 per cent of the seats were earmarked for the management quota, the colleges netted Rs.125 crore every year at the old rate of Rs.32,500 per student. The hike would increase the collections by Rs.115.5 crore.
As it was profitable to run colleges, several managements were opening more and more institutions and planning to establish new ones, Dr. Ramadoss said.
Criticising Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for taking decisions unilaterally, he said the decision on hike was announced even as his party’s seminar on the issue of fee structure in self-financing colleges was on and it was being attended by leaders of all the allies of the ruling party.
“The government did not have even the patience to note the opinions of the parties which took part in the meet. Is this the way the allies are to be treated? Which alliance dharma does this conform to,” he asked.
Opposition the decision, Dr. Ramadoss said his party would align with friendly parties to organise agitations. Asked whether his party would legally challenge the government decision in the context of the Supreme Court’s order against differential fee structure, Dr. Ramadoss said he would consult legal experts.