HYDERABAD: M Nageshwar, a final year B.Tech student of a private engineering college at Ghatkesar, had to sell off his mother’s gold necklace to pay `13,000 to his college, `10,000 towards his project fees and an additional `2,800 for examination and provisional fees. With city engineering colleges arm twisting students into buying projects, students are forced to cough up as much as `13,000 in the name of projects, in addition to tuition fee.
JNTU registrar N Yadaiah has clarified its collection of such fee from students is against norms. “The tuition fees is inclusive of everything. Such activities are against the guidelines,” he said and added that colleges have been asked to refund fee and explain their actions. Should colleges fail to do so, university will intimate Telangana Admission Fee Regulatory Committee (TSAFRC) for further action.
College administrations, on the other hand, are very discreet about the whole process. An official from Guru Nanak Institute of Technology, Ibrahimpatnam, maintained that they charge anything between `3,000 - `4,000 for “value added services” like research, robotics and software development centres. “For projects and books students have to pay additional charges,” he said.
A student of GNIT revealed that they had to shell out `5,000 per student, with each group comprising three students.
Each B.Tech final year student of another engineering college had to cough up `8,000, with five members working on each project. The college thus makes `40,000 from each project. “Though a lot of us face problem in arranging money, we know there is no option but to pay. Questioning authorities means getting less marks and no one wants to risk their career,” said Sai Kiran, a student of college.
To supplement the classroom teaching, all engineering students are required to submit a mini project in their third year of the course, followed by a major project in their final year.
They carry 50 and 200 marks respectively and are deemed an important criterion for recruitment too. As per the rulebook, students can either do this with the help of college faculty or through private organisations. Over the past few years, these projects, students allege, have become a means to fleece students.
Online petition launched
Interestingly, a B.Tech student has launched an online petition against the exploitation by colleges. In his petition, on Change.org, Shaik Owaise, has highlighted that a few colleges simply take project fee and give marks to the students. Some colleges take fee but let their students do their project elsewhere and finally, a few others collect fee with which they buy projects and allocate the same according to their whims.
“People say that students are not interested in doing project work, here is the proof that there is no opportunity for students to develop that interest. All they have to worry is about paying the project fee. Once that is taken care of, they will get the project,” he said.