The Karnataka government on Saturday announced a 10% hike in fees for private engineering colleges. The Karnataka Minister for Higher Education, GT Devegowda, chaired a meeting with the officials of the Higher Education Department and the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association, after which the decision was taken.
"The association of engineering colleges had demanded a fee hike, we have convinced them for a 10% hike. As we are expecting a code of conduct anytime soon, we finalised the fee structure as early as we could," Minister GT Deve Gowda told the media after the meeting.
With the new fee hike, the government seat, for which the fee was pegged at Rs 53,460 in private colleges last year will now be Rs 58,800. For those obtaining admission through COMED-K, seats which were Rs 1,83,600 last year will now be Rs 2,01,960 for the forthcoming academic year.
According to senior officials who were present at the meeting, the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association, had in early February, approached the state government, seeking a 25% hike in fees.
"We have held several rounds of talks with them. Initially, the government was adamant that we would not increase the fee more than 5%. This is because of the existing fee regulatory committee's orders that fee hike cannot be more than 8% per annum. The association wanted a 25% hike and we could not do that. Finally, we decided to settle for 10%," a senior official told TNM.
Officials with the Department of Higher Education say that the private engineering colleges are slated to revise the pay of the staff as per the norms set by the 7th Pay Commission in the 2019-2020 academic year. "They said they needed the money. For the last few weeks, they were not willing to move past a 15% hike but we have settled for this," the senior official said.
The government's current move is against Justice Shylendra Kumar's Fee Regulatory Committee report, which proposed an 8% fee hike for the previous academic year. The committee had, in July last year, stated that it would penalise anyone who increases the fees in private colleges by more than 8%.
"Last year, there was an 8% hike and this year, there wasn't supposed to be a hike. We also had to take into account that the 7th Pay Commission norms were being implemented," the senior official said.