BANGALORE: For the last one month, parents of a student at New Horizon College of Engineering have been desperate to get the original documents that their daughter submitted to the college.
The student has secured a homeopathy seat now, but New Horizon is refusing to return the documents unless she pays the fee for the full four years.
Bhagya, the student’s mother, said, “We had paid a fee of Rs 25,000 to the college only after checking with them that if my daughter did get a medical seat (Ayurveda or Homeopathy), they would return Rs 20,000 and the original documents.” But when her brother came to collect the documents after she got the medical seat, the college staff said Bhagya had to come personally as she was the one who had paid the fee. The next day, Bhagya came from Chitradurga, and then began her ordeal.
When she arrived at the college, she was asked to pay the full fee for the entire four-year course to get the documents back. “I tried telling the staff and even pointed out the person who had said that all I would lose was Rs 5,000 if we decided to withdraw from the course. But now they were telling me that the rules had changed,” Bhagya said. “I take tuitions for a living, and my husband is a school teacher. I took a loan at 10 per cent interest to pay the fee. I cannot afford to pay what they are asking me.”
Numerous attempts to meet the chairman of the college proved futile, she said. “Eventually the staff asked me how much I was willing to pay to get back the documents. I told them I did not mind if they did not return the fee I had already paid, but I simply could not afford to pay anything more,” Bhagya said.
“We have tried everything to get the documents back, and now we are running out of time. The final date for submitting documents is October 15 and we are desperate,” said Bhaskar, Bhagya’s brother.
Deshpande’s Request Ignored
The family had approached Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande, who wrote a letter requesting the college to return the documents, a copy of which is with Express. However, when the management did not agree to his request, he washed his hands of the issue, said Bhagya. Deshpande was unavailable for comment.
‘Loss for College’
When contacted, Surya Prakash, Registrar of New Horizon College, admitted that many students want to cancel their admission after they get a medical seat. “But the process for admission to engineering colleges was completed by mid-August. If students decide to leave after that, those seats will remain empty for the next four years,” he said.
“In this case, we have referred the issue to the management, considering the constraints of the family. The management will have to take a decision,” he said. However, only after admissions for engineering get over, counselling begins for Ayush courses.
KEA Circular Ignored
The Karnataka Examinations Authority has put up a circular on its website asking colleges to return the original documents to students ‘without any hassle’. Gangadariah, KEA Administrative Officer, has promised to look into the issue, and has directed students with similar problems to approach the single-member committee under Prof Saidapur.