Thiruvananthapuram

KU’s sole self-financing engg. college in trouble

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Varsity fails to implement 6th pay panel recommendation

The University College of Engineering (UCE), Karyavattom, the sole self-financing engineering college under the University of Kerala, is staring at an uncertain future.

Situation in the college has worsened ever since the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) denied sanction for its nine NRI seats in the 2018-19 academic year, owing to the university’s inability to implement the sixth pay commission scale for UCE employees. The college reported a loss of ₹46 lakh by way of running expenses that year.

The university’s continued failure to rectify the deficiency prompted the AICTE to halve the college’s student intake in the 2019-20 academic year. While UCE has a sanctioned strength of 198 seats, the college was permitted to fill only 99 seats, among which 92 were filled in its three streams of Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, and Information Technology. In its order served in April, the AICTE also threatened further action if the university failed to address the issue within six months.

Legal options

Subsequently, the Syndicate decided to pursue legal options against the AICTE order, even while admitting students from the merit category in the available seats. A subcommittee was also constituted to study a pay structure proposed by the UCE staff, numbering around 65 of which 47 are faculty members.

According to official sources, the implementation of the sixth pay commission recommendations is expected to create an additional financial burden of ₹12 lakh per month for the university. The crisis will worsen further with the seventh pay commission report. The employees have been on agitation mode, demanding hike in their salaries and steps to address problems. The recommendations of the subcommittee will be taken up for discussion at the Syndicate meeting scheduled on Monday.

The MGU solution?

Under the circumstances, the university is actively pursuing the idea of emulating Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU), which had transferred its self-financing college, University College of Engineering in Muttom, Idukki, to the Centre for Professional and Advanced Studies, a society formed to manage the institution. A recent meeting convened by Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel also suggested allocating a particular amount in the university budget to clear the deficiencies reported by the AICTE.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:51:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/kus-sole-self-financing-engg-college-in-trouble/article30546237.ece

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