Govt to ask engg colleges to charge 'reasonable' extra fees

Govt to ask engg colleges to charge 'reasonable' extra fees

Taking seriously the practice by engineering colleges of levying “miscellaneous and additional” charges on students, as documented in the Venkataramaiah Committee report, the Higher Education department will now ask the institutes to come out with their own “reasonable” fee structure.

The report, submitted earlier this year, listed 75 different categories under which engineering colleges were levying additional charges, apart from the tuition fees paid through the Common Entrance Test (CET). The extra fee ranged between Rs 10,00 to Rs 33,000 per year, the report stated.

Quoting examples, the department pointed out that some colleges were charging as much as Rs 650 for identity cards and Rs 2,000 for Wi-Fi. Others charged Rs 500 for the technology.

“As per the report, most of these fees are completely unreasonable and on an ad-hoc basis,” said the Principal Secretary for Higher Education, Rajneesh Goel, adding that the issue was raised with private managements at a recent meeting, in the presence of the Higher Education minister.

‘Charge reasonable fee’

At the meeting, college representatives were asked to charge a “reasonable” fee for the additional facilities.

Sources suggest that the department is looking at categorising the colleges based on whether they indeed provide quality services for the additional fees or simply dupe the students.

Consequently, the department has now asked the colleges to submit their own “reasonable” charges to be levied on students for the extra facilities. “Once the colleges submit their reports, the department will look into the matter and seek out a viable option,” Goel added. The one-man Venkataramaiah Committee had suggested that colleges should not charge more than Rs 10,000 for the additional facilities.

The Minister for Higher Education, R V Deshpande, said that extra fees charged by most of the 200 engineering colleges in the State were deemed unreasonable by several legislators and parents.

“There have already been two rounds of talks with the colleges and we expect their consortium to come forward with their own fee structure. We will then decide what can be done further,” he said. It is learnt that the department may not object to the basic miscellaneous fees like games fee, library fee and other such normal charges.

The report on the fee structure was also discussed at the Legislative Council at the recently concluded session.

Deshpande had also cited certain examples wherein colleges were forcing students to pay for transportation, despite the latter skipping the option.

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