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Coming, law to control pvt colleges

The University Grants Commission will decide 75 per cent of admissions, fix course fees, implement quotas, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2008 03:49 IST
Chetan Chauhan

The government has drawn up a draft law giving itself the power to decide three-fourths of all admissions in private educational institutions, determine their fee structures, and impose government reservation policies on them.

It will decide which professional college a student will study in, based on a list of multiple preferences. There will be no ‘domicile criterion’ in admissions.

The law marks a bid to establish the government’s stranglehold over India’s private colleges. The stated purpose is to curb the capitation fee menace, and to bring transparency in admissions. However, it also opens a channel for backdoor entry of quotas in private colleges.

The University Grants Commission’s draft UGC (Admission and Fee Structure in Private Aided and Unaided Professional Educational Institutions) Regulation, 2007, clearly states that the government’s existing reservation policy will apply to all institutions.

It gives UGC power to fix the number of seats in all approved professional institutions — a job now done by ad hoc state government panels, leading to complaints of corruption and huge capitation fees.

The draft regulation, circulated recently, identifies four categories of seats in colleges: government general quota, government reserved quota, institutional quota, and management quota. Seats in the first three categories will be filled through UGC’s Common Entrance Test (CET). Non-CET students will be admitted through the management quota.

In effect, 75 per cent of seats in unaided institutions and 85 per cent in aided institutions will be filled by the UGC, and quotas for SCs, STs and OBCs will apply.

In minority institutions, UGC will decide 50 per cent of seats. It will, however, notify the number of seats to be given to minority and non-minority communities in these colleges, the regulation states.

Students who clear CET will apply to UGC for admissions, not to colleges.

It is UGC that will direct them to colleges based on their preferences. “Admissions to private universities and deemed to be universities would be on all India basis without any domicile restriction,” says the draft.

An Admission Monitoring Committee will ensure a free and fair CET, and a separate body will counsel students before admissions, the guidelines say.

A new fee structure committee will fix and regulate fees for government and reserved quotas, putting an end to capitation fees. Colleges can decide fees for management and institutional quotas, but they must be approved by the committee. “No fees other than the one decided by the committee will be allowed,” the regulation says.

The National Fee Structure Committee will have a retired Supreme Court judge as chairperson with eminent members from a range of fields, the regulation states.