Special round of counselling to fill up Comed-K engg seats

Initial estimates say 7,000 vacant seats have been surrendered

 
Higher Education Minister Arvind Limbavali  at the meeting held in Bangalore on Monday. DH photoAddressing a press conference here on Monday, Higher Education Minister Aravind Limbavali said several private engineering colleges had come forward to surrender engineering seats to the Government. An initial estimate put the number of such seats at 7,000.

“We have agreed to fill the seats through the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) on the condition that the students will pay the tuition fees fixed by the State government,” the minister said. Comed-K charges tuition fees to the tune of Rs 1.25 lakh per annum for engineering seats, while KEA charges Rs 25,000 and Rs 15,000 per annum (for those whose income limit is below Rs 2 lakh).

Limbavali said he will convene a meeting of the Executive Committee of KEA and private managements shortly to fix the dates for the special seat selection process.

When contacted, COMED-K Secretary S Kumar said: “If private colleges have approached the government, it is out of pure desperation. It is true that the number of engineering seats with COMED-K far exceed the number of students. Many colleges, which are not the preferred choice of students, cannot run without the seats being filled and therefore they have approached the government. COMED-K has no say in colleges wanting to approach the government.”

He, however, agreed that the government was right in asking the colleges to lower the fees, as they would have to fix the same slab for everybody. He added that several of these colleges had, in fact, reduced the fees during the COMED-K counselling itself as they had few takers.

Unified CET

The minister said the government will once again invite Comed-K representatives to discuss the possibility of conducting an unified CET for admission to professional courses from next year.

“It will be a permanent solution to clear all confusion and will be in the interest of students,” Limbavali added.

He warned private college managements not to demand additional fees in excess to that fixed by the government. He added that the government will not hesitate to initiate action against colleges which demand excess fees.

‘Aptha Mitra’

The government will extend the concept of “Aptha Mitra” scheme presently implemented for degree colleges to polytechnics too. The scheme aims to tide over the initial lacunae that new colleges face in both infrastructure and teaching staff by providing assistance from nearby established colleges.

‘Angla’

The government will also take measures to start spoken English labs, ‘Angla’ in all aided and government polytechnics to help students, especially hailing from rural pockets, improve their English language skills.

Private colleges will also be told to open such labs, the minister said.

ECS system

Meanwhile, the State government had decided to dispense salaries for the staff of aided engineering and polytechnic colleges through the Electronic Clearing System (ECS) from October 1.

As many as 5,000 teaching and non-teaching staff in 44 polytechnics and 11 engineering colleges will benefit, he said.

The government will also form a committee to revise the grant-in code to shift from the approved expenditure based system to admitted salary component system for polytechnic colleges. In other words, grants will be released based on salary components rather than the accounts furnished by the colleges.

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