The managements of private degree colleges in Telangana have boycotted the supplementary exams in Kakatiya University, demanding clearance of fee dues totaling Rs 460 crore.
The supplementary exams in Kakatiya University, which were supposed to start from Friday, have been postponed to October 17 for now. Colleges affiliated to Osmania University are also likely to boycott the supplementary exams on Saturday.
The government has failed to make payments to private colleges under its fee reimbursement programme, which covers the education fee for students pursuing professional and degree courses in Telangana state, for the past two years.
Including the Rs 460 crore owed to private degree colleges, the government owes a total of Rs 2,175 crore as fee reimbursement for 14 lakh students pursuing engineering, medical, undergraduate and post-graduate degree and intermediate courses.
As a result, private college managements say, they have been suffering a major financial crisis and have therefore decided to boycott the supplementary exams till the government clears all fee dues.
â€śWe will boycott the supplementary exams, and if the government doesnâ€™t respond we will boycott the semester exams also,â€ť said Ramana Reddy, President of the Telangana Private Degree and PG Colleges Managements Association.
Ramana Reddy also said that he has approached the Finance Minister, the Education Minister and the Finance Secretary of Telangana regarding the issue several times, but to no avail.
â€śThe total dues of Rs. 2,175 crore for the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16 have not been cleared, which is why colleges are facing major bankruptcy. The Chief Minister had promised in the Assembly during the March budget session to clear dues over Rs 3,000 crore by the end of April,â€ť he added.
So far, only Rs 750 crore has been paid by the government this year, and tokens for a further amount of Rs 275 crore have been issued, though the Treasury has been freezing the release of this amount since June.
The Chief Minister had also announced that the tuition fee arrears would be released by June 30, and promised that tuition fees would be released bimonthly from the 2016-17 academic year, Ramana said.
Salary not received by staff
The colleges say that those hit worst by the pending dues are teachers and other staff members. Due to the financial crunch caused, college managements say they are unable to pay their staff members.
â€śFor the past two months, around three lakh staff members of higher secondary schools and degree colleges have not received their salary, due to this financial crisis. Dasara is a big festival in Hyderabad and teacher and other staff members who are facing a financial crisis were unable to be a part of this celebration this year,â€ť he added.
Ramana Reddy also added that due to pending salary payments by the management, many staff members are leaving their jobs, which might lead to a shortage of staff members in colleges.