Govt snubs panel, hikes engineering fee by 10%

Govt snubs panel, hikes engineering fee by 10%

G T Devegowda

The state government on Saturday allowed private engineering colleges to hike their fees by 10%, ignoring the fee regulatory committee’s recommendations, which had fixed an 8% hike last year.

Higher Education Minister G T Devegowda announced the 10% hike in fees in private engineering colleges for government quota from the coming academic year 2019-20 after chairing a meeting with officials, Comed-K (Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka), Karnataka State Linguistic Minority Professional Colleges’ Association and Karnataka Unaided Private Colleges’ Association.

The hike violates the recommendations made by fee regulatory committee, which was headed by Justice D V Shylendra Kumar.

According to the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) (Amendment) Act 2017, the government is not allowed to revise the fees for three years after it is fixed by the fee regulatory committee.

“The Act clearly states that the recommendations should be followed for three academic years without any revisions in between. The revision of fees goes against the proposal made by the committee,” Justice Shylendra Kumar told DH.

However, Devegowda defended the move and said colleges are burdened since they have to pay the faculty on the basis of the 7th Central Pay Commission.

“Dearness Allowance (DA) has also been increased. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has set new norms even for guest faculty salaries. After they demanded a 15% hike, we convinced them to settle for a 10% hike, keeping the students’ interests in mind,” Devegowda said.

However, Comed-K welcomed the fee revision. “We have obeyed the government’s order fully. We have justified our demand in front of the authorities and hence they have allowed a fee hike. I welcome the move since the minister has taken the decision,” Executive Secretary of Comed-K S Kumar, told DH.