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Panel proposes interest-free deposit

Staff Reporter

Self-financing engineering college managements reject new fee structure

KOCHI: The Fee Regulatory Committee appointed by the government to fix the fee structure for self-financing colleges on Thursday divided the educational institutions into ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories and allowed them to collect an interest-free one-time deposit of Rs.75,000 and Rs.50,000 respectively from students.

The annual tuition fee for 24 colleges included in the ‘A’ category is Rs.40,000. Last year, the fee proposed by the committee was Rs.38,700. The fee fixed for 11 ‘B’ category colleges will remain Rs.38,700.

Seventeen colleges that failed to submit the audited statements and balance-sheets before the committee were permitted to collect Rs.38,700 annual tuition fee but the committee decided not to allow them to collect any deposit from the students. The new fee structure will be effective till 2010.

Pointing out that banks had several projects to provide loans to students, Fee Regulatory Committee chairman P.A. Mohammed said the committee hoped that the self-financing engineering colleges would provide better facilities to the students using the interest-free deposit.

Asked whether the observation on banks providing loans was based on any study, Mr. Mohammed said several managements had informed the committee that they would arrange loans for students.

Joy Job Kulavely, committee member, said the managements should ensure accountability of the interest-free deposit collected from students.

‘It is unviable’

The Self-financing Engineering College Managements’ Association has rejected the fee proposed by the Fee Regulatory Committee for the new academic year.

C.I. Abdul Rahiman, general secretary of the association, said that the fee structure was “unviable.” He said the managements had made it clear that the annual tuition fee of Rs.38,700 for each student was insufficient for running a private engineering college.

Mr. Rahiman said the association had never given any proposal before the committee seeking permission to collect deposit from the students. He expressed doubts whether the Supreme Court and the High Court would permit the managements to collect deposit from the students. The association would soon convene its general body meeting to take a decision on the admission procedure to be adopted during the new academic year. The association would participate in the talks convened by the government but would not accept the fee proposed by the committee, he added.

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