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Gupta suspends fee panel hearing

EXPRESSING HIS ire over the lack of basic facilities for the committee, Judge?s Committee for Fees Fixation chairman Justice Gulab Gupta on Tuesday suspended the ongoing hearing for the private engineering colleges till further order.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2006 15:12 IST

EXPRESSING HIS ire over the lack of basic facilities for the committee, Judge’s Committee for Fees Fixation chairman Justice Gulab Gupta on Tuesday suspended the ongoing hearing for the private engineering colleges till further order.

The proposed hearings for the other private professional colleges will not be held until further orders. The chairman’s decision came on the second day of hearing for colleges of Bhopal region being held at the Tagore Hostel on Tuesday.

“The Government should fulfil its responsibility. This kind of functioning amounts to fooling the High Court and the Supreme Court under whose orders this committee has been constituted,’’ Justice Gupta said. Other members of committee, including the Director of Technical Education Dr S K Paranjape, were also present.

However, the member-secretary of the committee and Principal Secretary of Technical Education Dilip Mehra was not present. Justice Gupta was irked by the fact that the committee was working under severe constraints and did not even have a stenographer to take down notes of the proceedings of the hearing.

“One can hardly be expected to retain all that is transpiring without notes being taken,’’ Justice Gupta said before announcing that the hearings would remain suspended until the State Government made provisions for the basic amenities required by the committee.

Apart from the lack of staff and adequate financial resources, the chairman also pointed out the unavailability of basic facilities such as housing and local transport for himself.

“It does not seem that that the process for fees fixation is urgent and would be restarted when things seem to be in place,’’ Justice Gupta said somewhat sarcastically at the end of the afternoon session of hearing on Tuesday.  He said he had written to the Government about the lack of infrastructure and resources and expected action.

Representatives of about 12 private engineering colleges from capital and around attended the hearing in two sessions. Justice Gupta indicated that the hearings might be conducted again.

The chairman pointed out to the representatives that the basic premise of the August 12, 2005 judgment of Supreme Court (that led to the constitution of new fees fixation committee) was that the educational institutes are not business houses and the institutes should always keep this in mind while making proposals for fees.

He also suggested to the colleges that they should try alternative measures for mobilising financial resources on the lines of the private institutions in other parts of the world that collect donations from alumni and also from social organisations. Worldwide the fee contribution by students range from a maximum of 29 pc to minimum nine pc of the total financial resources, he said.

COLLEGES DEMAND RS 40,000: Most of the private colleges and the Association of Professional Institutes (API) put forth proposals of hiking the fees in engineering colleges to Rs 40,000. Last year the Justice Shachindra Dwivedi Committee fixed the fees for engineering colleges at Rs 26,000 per year for A grade colleges and Rs 23,300 per year for the B grade colleges. The Justice Gupta Committee said this fees structure would continue as interim measure till the new committee came out with new fees structure.

The representatives of Oriental Group of Institutes, LNCT, RKDF, TIT, SIRT, All Saints College, NRI, Sri Satya Sai College, Sehore, Patel College and others attended the hearing. All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) Regional Director Sanjay Sharma, Additional Secretary of Technical Education R K Dubey and the OSD to the Judge’s Committee, Pratik Vajpayee, were present at the hearing.