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Engg. colleges get green signal to hike fees

The annual fee structure in engineering colleges for undergraduate courses has been revised by ₹10,000 to ₹17,000, starting this year.

The Justice N.V. Balasubramanian committee has revised the fee structure for both government quota and management quota seats. Students admitted under the government quota may pay an additional ₹10,000 for non-accredited as well as accredited courses. The annual fee for management quota seats has been hiked by between ₹15,000 and ₹17,000. A student seeking admission under this quota will pay ₹85,000 (as opposed to ₹70,000 at present) for non-accredited courses and ₹87,000 (presently ₹70,000) for accredited courses.

Some college owners say the Committee has also allowed them to charge an additional ₹5,000 as developmental charges.

R.S. Munirathinam, founder of RMK Engineering College, said the fee is much lower when compared to the ones fixed by colleges in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.

“Had the fee revision been carried out regularly, we too would have reached the status of Kerala,” he said.

In Kerala, under the 35% management quota, the fee structure is ₹99,000, and for NRIs, it goes up to ₹1.50 lakh. Students admitted on the basis of the common entrance exam, either from lower income groups (15%) or from the ‘others’ category, pay ₹50,000.

Limited benefit

According to Mr. Munirathinam, only 50 colleges would benefit from the current fee hike. Though the Krishna Committee had recommended that the government could inspect colleges and fix the fee structure on the basis of their infrastructure and facilities, for this year, government officials said there was not enough time for inspection. Had the government conducted the inspection, then as per the committee’s recommendations, as many as 35 colleges could have raised their fee structure to as much as ₹1.56 lakh, Mr. Munirathinam said.

“We have asked the government to conduct the inspection this year so that fees could be determined as per the committee’s recommendations next year,” he added.

The fee revision has not caused any flutter among colleges in rural areas or smaller towns.

A college owner from a northern coastal district said the revision would not benefit institutions that have already negotiated with students to fill seats in the management quota with the existing fee structure. “Many colleges charge less than the prescribed fees, so students will not be affected,” he said.

The last fee revision happened six years ago.


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