Seat sharing: Govt considers ordinance route

Sharing of seats between private and government colleges and fee fixation has become a bone of contention this year. The seat matrix has not been finalised even though the Common Entrance Test concluded on April 28. While the private managements are insisting a fee of Rs 50,000 per annum, the government has proposed to peg it at Rs 32,500 for engineering courses. The Federation of Private Unaided Engineering Colleges has approached the High Court over the issue, and the Court on Thursday ordered notice to the government.

Higher Education Minister Dr V S Acharya said it has been decided to fix separate fee structures for the colleges which enter into an agreement with the government, and those which do not. The recommendations of the Justice Padmaraj committee will be made applicable to the latter class of colleges.

The minister, who made the government’s stand clear in the Thursday’s meeting with private managements, asked the managements to make clear their stand within a week. However, Federation vice president Dr M K Panduranga Shetty said adopting separate criteria is not feasible and the government may lose face if the system is questioned in court.

Dr Acharya said the government has only two choices and it would make its stand public on Tuesday. Given the continuation of the deadlock, the government may have to issue an ordinance under Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006. The Act, however, is yet to secure the approval of the Assembly and the legal sanctity of ordinance under such legislation may be questionable.

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