After a hard bargain over fee hike, the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association (KUPECA) agreed for 8% fee hike stipulated by the Fee Regulatory Committee. The Fee Regulatory Committee headed by former Karnataka High Court Judge Shylendra Kumar, threatened to go to court and file a case on individual colleges if the Government and the College management agreed to a fee higher than the stipulated one. He admitted that the fee regulatory committee has limited powers. When the Committee is set up by the Government, how can the government go against the recommendations of the Committee? The private engineering college managements had demanded a 30% fee hike.
M.K. Panduranga Setty, Secretary of the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Association said they wanted the government to reject the recommendation made by the fee regulatory committee, which fixed an 8% hike. Medical Education Minister D.K. Shivakumar had long discussions with colleges and convinced that any fee increase above 8% will have legal ramifications. Higher education minister G.T. Devegowda is examining to amend the law to end this yearly fight over fee in private professional education colleges.
Mr. Shylendra Kumnar said all the institutions were asked to submit their account to the committee and out of 394 institutions in various streams, 82 institutions did not submit their accounts. Hence the committee has declared them to be non-eligible for the 8% fee hike and has given them order to go ahead with the admission process with previous year’s fee structure. The ineligible institutions will be penalized if they hike or demand more than the last year’s fee.
The Government should make mandatory cost audits of all the private colleges including medical and engineering before any negotiations on fee structure is decided. It is in the public interest to learn what these colleges are doing/spending with the money collected.