Minister opposes fee hike for professional courses

Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya on Thursday strongly opposed the State government’s decision to allow a hike in the fee for professional courses, saying it will burden poor students in the State.

“Poor students will be burdened with the fee hike. Earlier, we had a liquor lobby... Now, it appears to be the turn of the education lobby to thrive. What should poor students do if colleges hike fee so much?” he asked, when reporters sought his reaction to the government’s decision.

The private managements do not have any commitment towards society. They are not doing anything to give quality education to the poor and enable them to live a dignified life. The managements aim to educate only students belonging to the affluent class.

“It is not a big deal to make a student coming from a well-off family score marks. They (private institutions) must help the poor and underprivileged students also,” he said.

U-turn

The minister further said he would take up the issue with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and urge him to reconsider the decision in the interest of poor students. But surprisingly, he took a U-turn on his stand when he met the chief minister in the Vidhana Soudha. Anjaneya said he never opposed the fee hike and only promised to take it up with the chief minister.

The chief minister, however, defended the fee hike and said the government would take steps to ensure that poor students were not burdened.

“The fee had not been revised for the last four years. The college managements had been demanding that the government should allow the fee hike. So, it has been increased a little bit,” he said. Anjaneya said the Social Welfare Department had been reimbursing the tuition fee, examination fee, laboratory fee, sports fee and library fee to be paid by SC, ST and backward classes students to private college managements.

The reimbursement is applicable to many courses, including engineering and medical. As a result, the burden on the poor students will not be much, he argued.

Vice chancellors

On the appointment of vice chancellors to various universities, Siddaramaiah said the governor had not taken any decision on the names recommended by the government. The chief minister denied reports in a section of media that the governor had sent back the list to the government.
DH News Service

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