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Engg. colleges get another chance to seek fee enhancement

September 24, 2022 09:12 pm | Updated 09:12 pm IST

The dilemma over enhancing the engineering fee even after the first phase of counselling continues with the Telangana Admission and Fee Regulation Committee (TAFRC) deciding to give yet another opportunity to some colleges to explain their point of view over enhancement.

The TAFRC that met on Saturday decided to take a re-look into the financial statements of the colleges as per the request of the college managements that disagreed with the TAFRC’s recommendations to reduce the fee after enhancing it last month. The government wants the issue to be settled without any legal hassles so that the confusion among students and parents were addressed.

As per the norms, the fee has to be revised for the block period 2022-2025 and the TAFRC did an exercise a few months ago calling for the financial statements of the colleges. It agreed for the enhancement of fees in several colleges and also informed them. However, later on, the TAFRC headed by Justice (retd) Swaroop Reddy decided to withhold the enhanced fee for this year.

Some colleges ensured huge hikes by submitting supporting documents of their income and spending for salaries and infrastructure. For example, CBIT’s fee was increased to ₹ 1.73 lakh per annum from ₹1.34 lakh. Its sister-concern MGIT too got a hike with ₹1.60 lakh fixed. About 30 colleges ensured their fee was over ₹1 lakh per annum. Another 50 colleges also saw a hike ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹20,000 per annum.

Interestingly, the TAFRC did not notify the revised fee before the first phase of counselling and later decided to retain the existing fee for this year considering the requests from parents and student organisations given the pandemic situation over the last two years.

This forced 79 private colleges to move the court seeking enhancement and get a reprieve to collect the enhanced fee pending the final notification from the TAFRC. The colleges were asked to pay back the differential amount if the collected fee was more than the final figure.

But the TAFRC yet again reviewed the fee structure citing discrepancies in the audited financial statements of the colleges. The review led to a reduction of fees in several colleges shocking them as it was much lesser than what was prescribed in the previous block period of 2019-2022. For example, the CBIT fee was reduced to ₹1.12 lakh, which was less than the fee it used to charge in 2013. The Commission backed its decision citing discrepancies in the audit reports.

Shocked over the reduction the colleges requested the TAFRC to reconsider the decision as the changed fee structure was not feasible for them. Their grievances will be heard on Monday and the TAFRC has called about 20 colleges to come with fresh audit statements.

So a final picture would emerge only next week, particularly among the sought-after colleges. In the first phase of counselling 60,208 seats were allotted in 176 colleges but about 43,000 only confirmed their admissions. The second phase will commence on September 28 and the seat allotment would be done on October 4.

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