HYDERABAD: As Telangana's technical and professional colleges are set to begin their admission processes in the next couple of months, it seems the colleges that applied for a revision of their fee structure may not be able to do so, since the Telangana Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (TAFRC) has not even initiated any process in the matter.
The most crucial process of auditing the statements of income and expenditure, along with audited balance sheets from 2016-17 to 2018-19 (March) is yet to begin, given the three-member committee has been virtually defunct since July 2018.
The guidelines for all the institutions eligible for seeking enhancement of tuition fee for the block period 2019-2022 was released in January and by March 30 they had to submit applications along with the requisite documentation. Almost two months later, the process has not even kick-started due to the absence of a functioning TAFRC.
The TAFRC currently has no members after the incumbent chairman and retired judge of the AP High Court, P Swaroop Reddy, demitted the office along with two other members of the committee, in July last year. It may be noted that as per the Higher Education department’s GO, the committee has to be headed by a retired judge of the High Court. A year on, the government is yet to make an appointment.
In this background, the committee is with the Telangana State Council for Higher Education (TSCHE). Speaking to Express, an official from the TSCHE said that they have acquired the documentation from colleges so as to ‘kick-start the preparations for fixing the fee and ensure there is no delay later’. “As soon as the HC recommends the name of the chairman, the committee start functioning,” he said. So far 1,342 colleges have approached TSCHE.
KVK Rao, general secretary of the All India Engineering Colleges, who is of the view that there is a slim possibility of any change in fee this year considering a month’s time is not sufficient to complete the exercise of a personal hearing with each institution, says, “TSCHE doesn’t want to enhance the fee and if at all they do, it will not be more than 5 to 10 per cent.”
Meanwhile, college managements are unhappy that TSCHE will consider the 6th Pay Commission instead of the 7th Pay Commission while evaluating the new fee structures. Srini Bhupalam, vice-president of the All India Federation of Self-Financing Technical Institutions (AIFSFTI), said that colleges would not hesitate from approaching the courts, for ‘not implementing the pay commission’, in case the hike is not sufficient.