Engineering colleges in Karnataka upbeat over AICTE move to cap fee

Engineering colleges in Karnataka upbeat over AICTE move to cap fee

The Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association (KUPECA) has welcomed the move by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to fix a minimum and maximum fees for engineering colleges across the country.

The AICTE has assigned the task to a committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice B N Srikrishna, who had previously headed a committee that had submitted recommendations on capping fee for professional colleges. Welcoming the move, secretary of KUPECA, M K Panduranga Setty said that this would be a relief to colleges in the state.

Every year, the state government fixes the fee for CET and ComedK seats through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with private colleges. Setty said that this was not being done in a scientific manner.

"The fee that the state government fixes is very low. It does not cover our costs. They are not enough even to pay our teachers, especially when taking the 7th Pay Commission into account," he said. Last year, the state government had capped the fee for engineering courses at Rs 55,000 for CET candidates and Rs 1.7 lakh for ComedK candidates.

"The fee cannot be the same for every college. Colleges with better facilities, infrastructure, and colleges approved by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) should be allowed to charge more. The recommendations that the Justice B N Srikrishna committee had made took these things into account. So, we expect reasonable rules," Setty said.

Dr S Kumar, chancellor of D Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, Kolar, said that the move would also benefit students. "Every year there are so many instances of students paying the prescribed fee through the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) and then when they go to the college for admission, they are forced to pay extra fee in the name of lab fee and so on. This is not a fair practice.  Hopefully, the AICTE will be able to ensure that the fee rules are not violated," he said.

Shravan Kumar, a final year engineering student said that  the move will  ensure that students pay only for the  education and facilities they get. "Colleges which have poor placement records have the same fee as colleges with very good placement and facilities. A fee structure that takes quality and infrastructure into account is welcome," he said.

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