UVCE students eligible for fee sops, clarifies B'lore varsity

University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) students, eligible for fee concession under the State government norms, would not be deprived of it, Bangalore University vice chancellor Prof B Thimme Gowda has said.

The clarification comes in the wake of a section of students protesting against fee hike this academic year.

The confusion began when the university notified the fee for courses at UVCE for this academic year and students saw considerable increase in the fee. Moreover, students falling under reservation and fee concession provision were told that they would have to pay the entire fee.

An angry group of students went on a protest demanding a rollback of the revised fee structure. Gowda explained that two different circulars from the State government led to the situation.

The background was that prior to June 2013, students were given fee concession (according to reservation category) and the State government would directly reimburse the deficit (occurring as a result of fee concession) to the university.

The vice chancellor said, “Last year, the government altered this practice. The university was directed to collect the entire fee amount. Instead of giving amount to the university, the government offered to put it in students' accounts. Hence, students could secure their fee concession by applying for the amount with the government departments concerned.”
As per this direction, the university announced the fees this year. However, on August 6, 2014, the university received a circular from the State government that they had to waive fees at the time of fee collection and the university would be reimbursed, like the earlier practice. “Now, fee collection will be as per fee concession regulations for different categories,” Prof Gowda said.

He specified that the problem does not pertain to SC, ST category students for whom the entire fee is waived. It pertains to other category students for whom the government reimburses five components of the fee — library, lab, sports, tuition and exam.

Nonetheless, students would still have to give an undertaking that they will pay the deficit amount ahead of the exams in case the government fails to reimburse the amount to the university.

University officials are, however, sceptical about the government refunding the entire amount. “If the government department suffers funds crunch, they will back out and the burden will fall on the university. This undertaking is in the interest of sustenance of the university. It is practically impossible to function by bearing the entire cost of fee concession,” an official said.

Meanwhile, the university would reconsider the decision of having hiked development fees from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 this year, according to Prof Gowda.

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