Government’s proposal to remove grant-in-aid for private colleges evokes mixed response

The staff and management of various private colleges in the district that receives grant-in-aid from the State government, share a mixed opinion on the proposed rollback of the aid by the government.

The State government, through a GO dated April 6, has proposed the withdrawal of grant-in-aid to private colleges and also suggested the voluntary takeover of the colleges willing to be taken over. An eight-member committee also has been formed to study various aspects such as legal, feasibility, faculty-student ratio in such private colleges, student enrolment and also impact-assessment if the government were to withdraw the aid. The report is to be tabled shortly.

But in the meantime, the staff and management of some of aided private colleges have voiced their concern and say that removing the aid or transferring the aided teachers and non-teaching staff to government colleges will not do good for the colleges, which have stood as a middle-option between the government colleges and the high-charging corporate or fully private colleges, for decades.

Prior to 1976, the teachers in private colleges were at the mercy of the management running the colleges. But after the introduction of UGC scales in 1976 and the Andhra Pradesh Private Educational Institutions Grant-in-aid (Regulation) Act, 1988, things changed and bright and capable teachers were attracted towards the higher education sector. But the joy was short-lived as the A.P. Government in 2004 issued GO Ms 35 banning the filling up of vacant aided positions in all colleges. And since then it has been hanging as a Damocles sword on the management and the staff, said Academic Consultant and Former Director, PG Studies, St. Joseph’s College for Women, Suguna Kannan.

“No aided private college can pay the UGC scales without the aid component. But it should be borne in mind that aided teachers have brought reputation to the colleges, as we could afford to get the best brains, thanks to the aid. Now if they are transferred from here to other government colleges, the credibility of having good teachers will drop,” said the correspondent of a reputed aided private college.

The government should take a call based on the strength and reputation of the colleges, he added.

Though the government has proposed a takeover, many reputed colleges in the district such as the 160-year-old Mrs. AVN College and Dr. Lankapalli Bullayya College, have said an outright ‘No’ and expressed willingness to continue on their own.

“The government can take back the aided staff and we have informed the same to the few aided staff that we have and they have agreed. But we have said a ‘No’ for takeover. It is a challenge, as on one we have to continue to employ good teachers at higher scales and on the other we cannot increase the fee structure exorbitantly, as other private or corporate colleges, as ours is run by a society and we mean to do service, without any profit motive,” said secretary and correspondent of Dr. Lankapalli Bullayya College G. Madhu Kumar.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 4:38:22 PM |

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