Even though private professional colleges have signed a consensual agreement with the state government on fee and seat sharing structure for CET 2014, the hue and cry over the issue is yet to die down.
The Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association (KUPECA), at its meeting on April 24, decided to follow last year’s fee structure. Meanwhile, they insisted that the government not interfere with other matters, including the fee charged by colleges towards facilities provided.
A Problem of Excess Fee
KUPECA president C G Lingappa told Express, “This year, we have instructed all our member institutions that fees can be collected in two categories — mandatory and optional”.
According to the message circulated by KUPECA to its members, the institutions can charge upto Rs 20,000 under the mandatory category for items like textbooks and uniforms. Facilities like transport fall in the optional category and the fee charged by institutions should not exceed Rs 20,000. “Under the optional category, colleges must not force students to pay. It is left to the students to use a facility or not,” Lingappa said.
Relief Remains Distant
However, both students and their parents are unhappy with the KUPECA’s stand. “We were happy that finally there is no hike in fees. But if the government allows them to charge excess fee, there won’t be any difference in reality,” said Sonali, an engineering seat aspirant.
Mohan Kumar, who is pursuing an engineering degree in a city college, said, “Colleges charging excess fee is not new. Every year, we face this and demand the government to provide a permanent solution. Otherwise, it amounts to harassment of parents and candidates.”
Meanwhile, Dr Ramegowda, executive director of Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), said the agreement between the government and the institution stands and action would be taken against institutions which exploit students.
As per rules, colleges can only collect Rs 36,900 (fee prescribed by KEA) and an additional Rs 3,090 (VTU fee) for government quota seats.
this has happened before
In 2012, some of the candidates admitted under the government quota had to surrender their seats as they could not pay the extra fee demanded by institutions. These students had also explained their reasons in writing to then executive director Rashmi V, who had then forwarded the same to the Department of Higher Education for further action. The department had insisted that Visvesvaraya Technological University issue a circular, but the institutions defended their move and refused refunds.
COLLEGES IN THE ‘BIG’ LEAGUE
According to documents available from the Department of Higher Education, during CET 2012, 158 engineering colleges collected excess fee. The amount ranged between Rs 5,000 and Rs 88,550 per seat!
Some of the institutions which collected extra fee in 2012
■ RV College of Engineering - Rs 6,500
■ BMS College of Engineering - Rs 15,000
■ New Horizon College of Engineering - Rs 20,000
■ Ambedkar Institute of Technology - Rs 22,050
■ Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering - between Rs 22,415 and Rs 88,550