More talks on engg seat-sharing

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa announced at a public meeting in Davangere on Sunday that he has decided to convene a meeting with private professional college managements.

Last week, the Cabinet approved an ordinance, whereby professional colleges were given the option of signing a consensual agreement or abiding by the 2006 Professional Education Bill.

As explained by Higher Education Minister V S Acharya, if colleges opted for the 2006 Bill, they would have to implement the fee as per the Padmaraj Committee report. College managements and the State government differed on the fee for engineering courses with colleges demanding Rs 50,000 and the government fixing Rs 30,000 as annual fee.

Aghast at the government proposal, colleges have demanded that the content of the Fee Regulatory Committee be revealed. Currently, a petition by former Union minister R L Jalappa and the Private Engineering Colleges’ Association is pending before the High Court seeking that the report be made public.

As per Supreme Court judgements, private colleges are at liberty to admit students based on an entrance test, while fee has to be fixed by a regulatory committee. However, a consensual agreement between the government and private colleges can override this. As a result, since 2006, admissions to engineering and medical colleges have been made on the basis of consensual agreements.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association (KUPECA) President Pandurang Shetty said colleges have not been intimated on the position of the State government. "We welcome any talks that the government wants us to participate in. However, as of today, we are all for implementing the Padmaraj committee report", he added.

Sources in the education ministry said that there was no move to scuttle the ordinance as of today. "Even though the ordinance is promulgated, nothing hinders the colleges entering into a consensual agreement with the State government", he pointed out.

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