Panel to study implementation of law on professional course fees

As part of the move to implement the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006, the State government on Wednesday constituted a committee headed by the chief secretary for a feasibility study.

The committee has been asked to study the pros and cons of the implementation of the Act and give its suggestions, if any, on possible amendments to the Act.

In connection with the same, a meeting was held with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here on Wednesday. Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, Minister of State for Medical Education Dr Sharan Prakash Patil said the committee has been asked to submit its report at the earliest. “It might take 15 or 20 days to compile the report. Even if they submit it ahead of the Belagavi session, we will require time to look into it. Hence, it will be brought up for consideration in the joint session in January,” Patil told Deccan Herald.

The meeting, on Wednesday, was held to brief the chief minister about the current status of implementation of the 2006 Act. The education ministers concerned updated the chief minister about the recently held stakeholder meetings in connection with the implementation of the Act.

Minister for Higher Education R V Deshpande said they presented the views of students and college managements before the chief minister for consideration. “I held a meeting with the managements on Tuesday. Prior to this, a meeting with students’ representatives was also convened.”

In connection with the implementation of the 2006 Act, there has been much scepticism about the hike in fees and loss of seats through CET if it is implemented. The provisions of the Act require professional educational institutions to provide a proposed fee structure for the academic year (within December of the previous year) before a Fee Regulatory Committee to be constituted by the government. This had raised concerns about the possibility of colleges urging for exorbitant fees.

During the stakeholders’ meet, suggestions were made to negotiate with the managements for increase in ratio of the government seats and to ensure that the fees were not increased.

“We have to consider the burden that would be placed on the government. For instance, we are already spending more than Rs 35 crore towards CET fees for SC/ST and OBC students,” Deshpande said. According to the minister, they are trying to work out a solution to implement the Act without placing monetary burden on students. However, nothing was finalised in the meeting on Wednesday,” he said.

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