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Engineering fee in unaided colleges fixed at Rs. 32,500

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, JUNE 9. Unaided engineering colleges in the State should not charge more than Rs. 32,500 as annual fees. However, they can collect Rs. 40,000 for courses accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

The permanent committee for fixing fee in private professional colleges, headed by the retired judge, A. Raman, today announced the new fee structure, which came into effect immediately. It would be in force till 2006-07.

The new fee is higher than last year's "recommended fee structure of Rs. 30,000 for management quota seats and Rs. 25,000 for seats allotted under single-window admissions," he told newspersons here.

The new fee encompassed all charges, including for admission, tuition, special fees, laboratory, computer/Internet/placement and training/library, sports and any other amenity or recurring expenditure. The colleges could charge up to Rs. 5,000 as caution deposit (one-time payment). It should be refunded at the end of the course.

Concession for the meritorious

The committee, which includes a former Anna University dean, T.R. Jagadeesan; a chartered accountant, Sankar Datta, and the Tamil Virtual University Director, V. Sankaranarayanan, besides the Higher Education Secretary, K. Gnanadesikan (member-secretary), recommended that the colleges grant a Rs.5,000-concession for "deserving meritorious students... It will be open to the managements to charge any fee lower than that prescribed."

Mr. Raman said a higher fee was fixed for accredited courses so that more colleges would be encouraged to seek quality certification and accreditation from the NBA.

Penal action for violation

When newspersons referred to complaints of overcharging by some colleges, he said any aggrieved student/parent could approach the committee. The institutions should not collect any other fee including capitation fee. "Any deviation from this order will lead to serious penal action," he said.

Mr. Gnanadesikan said such colleges could face withdrawal of All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approval and disaffiliation by the university, as well as a fine.

However, any unaided college, which wanted the fee revised, could approach the committee with its own proposal, producing documents and books of accounts.

The fee committee was constituted three months ago by the government following the Supreme Court's judgment in the Islamic Academy of Education case in August 2003. Mr. Raman said no college had approached the committee for fee revision for 2004-05. Considering the anxiety expressed by parents and students over the fee payable and the fact that the admission process had already begun, the panel deliberated the question in the light of the Supreme Court's orders.

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