Govt may move court if engg fee issue not resolved: CM

Govt may move court if engg fee issue not resolved: CM

Chief minister Called meeting to Discusse on Fixation of Fees and Seats for Engineering and Architect Courses for 2018-19 Period on Wednesday in CM's home Office Krishna.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that the government would approach the court if need be with regard to the fixation of fee for engineering courses.

Kumaraswamy met representatives of the association of engineering and architecture colleges in the state on Wednesday regarding the fee cap for these professional courses.

After the meeting, he said: “If it will benefit the students of the state, we will not hesitate to approach the court and take its recommendations.” The fee fixation committee constituted by the state government headed by retired high court judge Justice Shyendra Kumar had capped the annual increase of fee for engineering courses at 8%.

Professional colleges, however, had sought a hike of 30% citing reasons such as a need for better infrastructure and to increase the salaries of their staff. Some colleges had received letters regarding the capping of fee on Monday. Following this, members of the private engineering colleges association met the chief minister on Wednesday.

“They are asking for 30% hike citing that there has been no hike in the fee over the last three years. Just after the formation of the government, we cannot accept it all at one go. I have instructed the Principal Secretary of higher education department to sit with them, and discuss the issue,” Kumaraswamy said.

M K Panduranga Setty, secretary, Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association said, “We are asking for 30% fee hike as we need to increase salaries of the staff. Even the government has increased wages of its staff by 30% and our staff demand a similar hike. To bear such expenses, we need to hike the fee. We do not want to put students and parents into trouble. We will have to bear some losses. We are yet to asses to what extent that can be done.”

Shafi Ahmed, secretary, Karnataka Religious and Linguistic Minority Professional Colleges Association said, “We are ready even for 15% hike. But, it is difficult to run the colleges without increasing the fee.”

Ahmed said that the fee fixation committee had to submit its recommendations on the fee hike to the government and not individual colleges. In what could be surprising, even the office of the principal secretary, higher education department, Dr Rajkumar Khatri has not received a copy of the recommendations of the committee.

Dr Khatri said that he was unaware of it and heard about the same from individual colleges.