No fee hike in Andhra Pradesh engineering colleges: Higher Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission

The chairperson also informed that seats under convener quotas in 80 per cent of the engineering colleges in the State were not filled
Image for representational purpose only (Pic: Google Images)
Image for representational purpose only (Pic: Google Images)

There will be no fee hike in engineering colleges for the next academic year, said Andhra Pradesh Higher Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission (APHERMC) chairperson justice V Eswaraiah. He added the fee schedule drafted by the commission, after reviewing the audited financial statements of colleges, will be submitted to the State government by February 20.

Addressing the media after a meeting of all commission members at its office in Tadepalli near here on Wednesday, Eswaraiah said since November 27, the commission carried out inspections on 285 engineering colleges to review their fee structure and audited financial statements for the years 2017-18 and 2018-19. "During our inspections, we provided appraisals to the college management with regard to the details submitted to the auditors, and, then, decided to hold a hearing session over the issue on February 4," he said.

"Similarly, we have issued a notification to review and determine the fee structure of colleges offering graduate and postgraduate degrees in law and physical education courses. The colleges have been asked to begin submitting relevant details from February 10."

He added: "At present, medical colleges have started uploading details of audited financial statements for 2017-18 and 2018-19 and inspections will be carried out after March 9. We are fixing the fee structure for the block period of 2019-20 due to delay information of the commission, court cases and the interim measures taken by the government to ensure the college charge the same fees as that of the previous year," the chairperson added.

Eswaraiah explained unlike medical colleges, the engineering colleges follow a common fee structure. "As per the directives of the apex courts, if any regulation or law is adopted in a state, college management can make separate fee structures for the respective quotas. In Andhra Pradesh, it is difficult to do so due to the fee reimbursement programme being implemented by the government. To make best use of the programme, several engineering colleges function without maintaining proper educational standard, faculty, infrastructure and attendance," he pointed out.

The chairperson also informed that seats under convener quotas in 80 per cent of the engineering colleges in the State were not filled. The commission will decide the fee structure of engineering colleges based on their performance and their audited financial statements. "Every college should follow the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norms. In case a college fails to do so, then the council will be requested to take necessary action against it," Eswaraiah said.

Later, Special Chief Secretary (Higher Education) Satish Chandra released the diary of APHERMC and said the department will soon launch a grievance cell and a toll-free number so that students can lodge complaints if they were charged extra towards fee than what will be prescribed by the commission.

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