Pallam Raju's absence delays NIT fee hike

A final decision on the proposed hike in tuition fee for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) could not be taken as Human Resource Development Minister M M Pallam Raju skipped the council meeting here on Friday

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The day-long meeting, however, continued in absence of the minister. Most of the NIT directors endorsed the proposal to increase the tuition fee for the BTech, MTech and MCA programmes up to Rs 70,000 per annum from next year.

“Most of the NIT directors endorsed a standing committee’s recommendation to hike the institutes’ tuition fee at the meeting. This, however, can not be construed as an endorsement by the council as it would require approval of the HRD minister to bring the proposed hike into effect,” sources told Deccan Herald. 

The minister, who happens to be the chairperson of the council, is not participating in the ministry’s meetings after handing over his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in protest against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The NITs have been pitching for a fee hike for several years. A recommendation to increase the fee up to Rs 50,000 per annum for the BTech and MTech programmes for the academic year 2012-13 was made in 2011.

The proposal was, however, rejected by the council, headed by erstwhile HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, who is now the Telecom Minister.
Raju’s absence has cast shadow over the fate of the proposed hike.

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