HYDERABAD: In a move that could affect a huge number of students, the state government is contemplating restricting the fee reimbursement facility to students of government colleges. With the reimbursement scheme becoming a proverbial white elephant for the government, it is reportedly mulling ways to lessen its burden. Accordingly a cabinet sub-committee, that was set up to look into the issue, is said to be mulling taking away the privilege from students of private colleges. The other option under consideration is reimbursing a fixed amount to private colleges regardless of the fee they charge.
The committee meeting and recommendations become prominent as it has to submit a report to the Supreme Court on January 23 on the procedure it would adopt to fix tuition fee for professional colleges.
Members of the cabinet sub-committee, including Botcha Satyanarayana, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Mohammed Ahmadullah and Basavarju Saraiah assembled under the chairmanship of social welfare minister Pithani Satyanarayana at the state secretariat Friday night and discussed the options available before them to lessen the burden on the state exchequer.
The members were reportedly annoyed that several colleges, which survive because of fee reimbursement, had the audacity to go to the courts to direct the government to pay up even if there was a slight delay in release of fee reimbursement dues.
The proposal of paying a fixed amount as fee reimbursement was made as the High Court had directed the state government to allow colleges to fix their tuition fee after taking into consideration the expenditure that went into setting up the infrastructure and faculty at the college. The members were worried that if colleges hiked their tuition fee abnormally, the burden on the government would increase substantially.
The committee also discussed imposing restrictions on minority engineering colleges in filling up their seats on their own. They decided to recommend to the state government to set up a monitoring committee to look into the applications for fee reimbursement and ensure transparency.