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Govt. to move Supreme Court for lower fee

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, JUNE 15. The State Government has decided to move the Supreme Court to review the Murgod Committee report on fee structure for professional courses, particularly the medical course as the recommended fee was too high, the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, told the Legislative Council today.

Responding to the Bharatiya Janata Party group leader, M.R. Tanga, during the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address to the House, Mr. Singh said the State Government would appeal to the Supreme Court to review its decision on the Common Entrance Test (CET) system, particularly the seat-sharing quota between the CET Cell, and the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges-Karnataka (COMED-K), and facilitate an early resolution to the issue.

The Chief Minister said he had met a delegation of the Students' Federation of India which had urged the Government to consider extending the fee reduction extended to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, and the Backward Classes students to merit students from the general category as well. He had directed the Finance Department to make an assessment of the financial burden on the Government. The fee reduction for the reserved category students cost the Government Rs. 60 crore, he said.

Dr. Tanga suggested that since the annual fee of around Rs. 2 lakh was not affordable for many aspirants to medical courses, the Government ought to consider making it free for students whose parents or guardians did not come into the tax bracket. This would cover a larger number of students who lost out on a good career because of the cost factor.

V.S. Acharya (BJP) said the CET issue was not adequately addressed in the Governor's speech. Higher education was not given the importance it deserved, and this would create an impression that the coalition Government was not keen on solving the problem, he said.

He had a dig at the Janata Dal (Secular) for having bitterly fought the Congress and opposed it on policies and issues in its election manifesto, only to make up with the Congress just to come to power. He quoted from the Janata Dal (S) manifesto, which had described the Congress as a party that was corrupt, publicity crazy, and had no achievements to speak of. The Janata Dal (S) had promised to set up special courts to try all scam-tainted leaders of the Congress, he said.

Puttanna (JD-S), Ramachandra Gowda (BJP) and others said it was not a good move to include colleges in Kolar and Bangalore Rural district in the proposed Tumkur University, which was to be carved out of Bangalore University.

Bangalore University with over 300 colleges affiliated to it, had become unwieldy, and the State Government had been talking of bifurcation to manage them better.

Several members said Kolar was closer to Bangalore, and making it a part of the Tumkur University would cause difficulties to students, the faculty, and the administration.

Sub-committee formed

The Government on Monday has constituted a three-member Cabinet Sub-Committee to monitor on a day-to-day basis the admission process to professional colleges in the State, according to the Minister for Large and Medium Industries, P.G.R. Sindhia.

The Minister told the Legislative Assembly that as confusion still prevailed with regard to the admission process and the fee structure in professional colleges, the Government had constituted the committee. He assured the House that the Government would work towards a fee structure keeping in mind the "common" students. At the same time, he said the private professional college managements had expressed difficulties in running their institutions if the fee structure was not corrected.

The Government, he said, would adopt a "practical and viable" approach.

The Minister for Higher Education, D. Manjunath, said he was inviting representatives of the COMED-K for a meeting to sort out the issue.

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