'Govt guilty of aiding private colleges in fleecing students'

The BJP said on Tuesday that the government, having introduced several Bhagya schemes such as Anna Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya, etc, should also consider a new ‘Fee Bhagya’ scheme to ‘compensate’ the tuition fees of students pursuing professional courses, and also assure them a seat in good colleges, based on the aspirants’ merit. 

Addressing reporters, BJP spokesperson C T Ravi made this sarcastic comment after criticising the government for assisting the private professional colleges lobby in conducting “daylight robbery” by implementing the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act 2006. Former higher education minister Ravi said that as per the Act, the government will lose complete control over private unaided medical and engineering colleges, which will exploit the situation to make money with the varied fee structure. He said that with close to 75,000 engineering seats in 210 colleges to be filled under Comed-K (Consortium of Medical, Engineering, Dental colleges-Karnataka), it is all but evident that a lot of meritorious students will be forced to fend for themselves.

“With the government planning to introduce a varied fee structure, depending on the infrastructure of the particular college, a lot of lower and middle-class students may have to forgo their seats due to the likely hike in fees in the more popular and better colleges. How does the government intend to protect the interests of this section of students?” he said.

He said the government was unilaterally taking a decision in haste to implement the Act, without considering the widespread repercussions. At present time, there are only 12 government engineering colleges, nine government-aided engineering colleges, 10 government medical colleges and two government dental colleges, he explained. 

“The rest of the colleges are under the Comed-K. We already know how the Comed-K examinations are functioning, with several allegations of seat blocking and an extremely lopsided fee structure,” he said and appealed to the government to call for an all-party meeting and for student unions to discuss the issue, before implementing the Act.

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