Now, CM to bargain with private colleges

Deadlock over fixing fees for engineering courses

The intervention comes after talks for over four months reached a cul-de-sac and failed to arrive at any consensus. Moreover, Higher Education Minister V S Acharya will be missing in action for a few days as he is recuperating from an injury.

The meeting has been convened days after the State government announced a new fee proposal –– Rs 35,000 for colleges in Bangalore, and Rs 32,500 for colleges outside.

The negotiation that began way back in December hit a stonewall last month, after the government refused to budge from its stance of not increasing the fee.

Higher Education Minister V S Acharya has offered a fee of Rs 32,500 to private colleges against their demand of Rs 50,000 per annum.

Private college managements had based their demand on implementation of recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission. Aghast, colleges demanded that the content of the Fee Regulatory Committee report be revealed.

Currently, a petition by former Lok Sabha member R L Jalappa and private engineering colleges association is pending before the High Court seeking that the contents of the report be revealed.

As per the Supreme Court judgments, 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.

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