There appears to be no end to the delay in announcement of dates for admissions to engineering colleges in the state with the government and managements engaged in “shadow boxing” and trying to get their way in fixing the tuition fee.
Though more than 97 per cent of the over 700 engineering college managements had on Sunday agreed to the `35,000 uniform fee, none of the private colleges gave undertakings agreeing to the fee structure Monday. The managements of leading colleges are consulting advocates in order to move the court against the government’s move. “Around 80 colleges consulted advocates on Monday,” chairman of an engineering college told Express.
Though, the cabinet sub-committee had made it clear on Sunday that the new fee would be applicable for two years, some engineering colleges protested. “We agreed for `35,000 for this academic year only. The fee is not acceptable for two years. We have to give salaries to staff as per the sixth pay revision commission. If there is no hike in fee next year, it is not possible for us to increase the salaries,” a functionary of an engineering college said.
In this backdrop, none of the private engineering colleges as well as colleges offering MBA/MCA and pharmacy courses filed undertakings with the Admissions and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC) agreeing to abide by the `35,000 annual fee. “We have tabled our inability to file the affidavit to all the members of AFRC as we have certain objections to it. As of now, we want a fee hike to `40,000 and only for the current academic session. The government will have to revise the structure next year,” said P. Rajeshwar Reddy, chairman of Consortium of Engineering College Managements’ Association.
In such a scenario, the announcement of the dates for counselling is unlikely before the end of this week as groups among the private engineering colleges are gearing up to contest the ‘nominal’ `4,000 hike. “We have asked the colleges to file the affidavit with the AFRC voluntarily. Within a day or two, the fee will be fixed for each of the colleges,” said Professor P Jaya Prakash Rao, chairman of Andhra Pradesh State Higher Education Council and AFRC president. He added that counselling will be stalled till fee-structure for all the colleges has been decided.
The private engineering college managements want the government to reconsider the proposed fee hike. “Only 100-odd colleges, mostly those situated in the rural areas, are willing to give the undertaking to AFRC for the proposed fee-structure. If they do not revise the figure, the managements will contest the decision,” said Nimmatoori Ramesh, chairman of Consortium of Engineering and Private College Managements Association (CEPCMA).
The association had earlier announced that they were ready to go ahead with the old fee-structure of `31,000 for 2012-13 in the interest of the students. Around 30 colleges have been demanding a fee-hike of the order of `45,000 to `50,000 per year and are likely to persist with their demand.