Govt hikes fee for engg, med courses sans panel

Students, Parents are seen at Medical Seat allotment after CET exams, Mop up round at Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA), Malleshwaram, Bengaluru on Friday. (DH Photo by S K Dinesh)

The state government has not constituted the Fee Regulatory Committee for the academic year 2019-20 even as the second round of admissions for undergraduate professional courses have been completed.

The Karnataka High Court has made Fee Regulatory Committee mandatory for fee fixation. But, this year state government has fixed the fee for engineering, medical and dental courses without having the committee in place.

Generally, the Fee Regulatory Committee should be headed by a retired judge of high court.

During 2018-19 it was headed by Justice D V Shylendra Kumar. The committee was literally a boon for students and parents as it regulated the fee fixed by the government and brought it down too.

When questioned, officials from the state Higher Education department said that they were waiting for a direction from the high court for forming the committee. However, sources in the department say that the formation of the committee had been deliberately delayed as it had caused “trouble” in 2018-19 by reducing the fee fixed by the government. Therefore, the government went ahead, fixed the fee and signed an agreement with managements of private colleges in the absence of the committee.

During 2018-19, the government had effected a hike of 15% in fee for medical and dental courses while the committe brought down the hike to only 8%. It can be recalled that the commitee had issued notices to individual institutions which refused to follow the fee structure.

This year, in absence of the committee, the government increased the fee by 10% for engineering, medical and dental courses.

However, officials of Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) say that they have written to state government requesting for formation of the committee, but had not received any.

R Girish, Executive Director, KEA said, “We have communicated to state government requesting for appointment of the committee and government would have forwarded it to registrar of high court. But, till date we have not received any response.”

The function of the Fee Regulatory Committee is to regulate individual institutions and also state government in case they collect “excess” fee from the students. The students and parents can make a complaint to the committee if any college collects exorbitant fee. Moreover, the committee can intervene if the students and parents object to the fee structure fixed by the government.

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