Government may rethink cap on fee sop
By Express News Service - HYDERABAD
09th August 2012 09:11 AM
Under fire from members of their own party for capping the fee reimbursement amount for engineering colleges, the cabinet sub-committee which met here Wednesday is mulling reconsidering its decision. In Delhi, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana also said that the government would reconsider its decision. The sub-committee has decided to meet again Thursday to make up their mind.
In this backdrop, the uncertainty over the counselling for admission continues, though the talk in official circles is that they are preparing to start the process by August 19. An official notification may be issued on August 10.
Meanwhile the managements of private colleges are in the wait-and-watch mode. The government too is in a fix as a Supreme Court directive has allowed colleges to hike tuition fee commensurate with their investment and infrastructure.
If a decision on fee reimbursement is not finalised, the government may have to foot the entire bill for some students, which would work out to a total Rs 3,404 crore per annum. If they cap it, their annual expense would be at Rs 2,904 crore.
The Cabinet sub-panel is averse to holding the counselling without letting students know if a particular college will hike its tuition fee or not and if they do, then whether the government would foot their entire expense.
The panel feels that if a go-ahead is given without resolving the issue, they would come under fire from students and Opposition parties at a later date. As many as 133 college have already sought increase in tuition fee and submitted enough data in support of their claim.
The sub-committee, which had met on August 6 had decided to cap the fee reimbursement amount at Rs 31,000 for BCs and EBCs. They had resolved to help students avail bank loans to fund the remaining expenses. But they met with stiff opposition from student groups, opposition parties and some of the Congress leaders as well.
“We have discussed the opinions of those opposed to capping the tuition fee. We will meet again Thursday and take a final decision,” social welfare minister Pitani Satyanarayana told reporters.
In the wake of the apex court decision, various government departments have submitted their reports about the fee structure and fee reimbursement issue.
“We have sent the latest reports from various departments to the Advocate General,” Satyanarayana said. This was done to avoid further legal hassles if anyone decided to challenge the capping or fee hike. The government also wants to kick-start the counselling soon.
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