Engineering fee structure will be reported soon
The Justice Balasubramanian Committee’s report on the fee structure of engineering colleges in the State will be released before Anna University closes applications for this year’s B.E. admissions on May 31, according to Higher Education Secretary K. Ganesan. He is the government representative on the committee.
Prior to the release of the report, Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy convened an informal consultation to solicit the views of the government’s allied parties on the issue.
At the meeting held on Tuesday, most political parties expressed their opposition to any hike in fees or any change in the 65:35 ratio of government to management quotas at self-financing engineering colleges, according to several people who attended the meeting.
Students Federation of India secretary G. Selva, who attended the meeting as the CPI (M) representative, said that the Minister had told them of the demand of self-financing engineering colleges to change the quota to 50:50.
The managements of these colleges also want the Rs. 32,500 annual fee now charged for government quota seats in non-accredited courses to be raised to Rs. 40,000, and the Rs. 40,000 fee for accredited courses to be raised to Rs. 50,000, he said.
Currently, the fee for management quota seats is the same as that for government quota. College owners want that hiked to match the fees charged in neighbouring States, ranging from Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 1.25 lakh, according to sources who attended the meeting.
Several party representatives pointed out that neighbouring States have a different ratio of management quota seats and also have lower fees for government quota seats.
While most of the parties were opposed to any change in the ratio, a few reportedly suggested that they may be agreeable to a modest hike in the fees of the management quota seats alone.
A couple of them also suggested that when the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations are released next year, the issue of fee hike could be considered.
The meeting reportedly discussed the danger of the self-financing colleges going to court over the issue. An earlier High Court judgment permitting them to control admissions to all their seats was a weapon in their hands, admitted a government source.
The Pattali Makkal Katchi plans to organise continuous protests at collectorates across the State demanding a reduction in fees for government quota seats and a commitment that fees will not be raised by even a single paisa.
According to a press release, the party also wants the State government to ensure that self-financing colleges collect only the prescribed fees and that communal reservation quotas are enforced. The PMK also demanded that colleges without sufficient infrastructure or faculty be de-recognised.