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Move for parity in fees

Amid the gloom of Mandal II, the All India Council of Technical Education hopes to bring some cheer to students seeking to take up technical courses. The council would like students to opt for a course of their choice, in any technical institution, without having to go about comparing fees. For if the AICTE has its way, there will be a similar fee structure for a particular course all over the country.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 13:53 IST

Amid the gloom of Mandal II, the All India Council of Technical Education hopes to bring some cheer to students seeking to take up technical courses. The council would like students to opt for a course of their choice, in any technical institution, without having to go about comparing fees. For if the AICTE has its way, there will be a similar fee structure for a particular course all over the country.

A committee to examine fee structure in technical institutes in various states and come out with a rational module has been constituted. Headed by Justice (retd) Ranganath Mishra, the committee is expected to submit its report by June. "We expect to enforce the recommendations of the committee before the start of the next academic year," R.A. Vadav, vice-chairperson of AICTE, said.

Sources say, the need to have guidelines for fixing college fees was felt because of the increase in complaints regarding exorbitant fees charged by private institutions and number of court cases related to that. The problem of disparity in fee structures has reached such proportions that the issue was raised at the national conference of deemed universities that concluded on Friday.

Officials complained that some institutes even charged more than double the amount charged by other institutes for the same course.

"The Mishra committee will suggest a formula for examining the fee structure. There will be a price component for each facility like library, computers, tutorials, sports and so on. This will help in rationalising the fees structure," a council official said.

Fees for engineering courses in private colleges range anywhere between Rs 50,000 pa to Rs 2 lakh. In many cases there is no rationale behind the extremely high fees charged.

"In most cases one ends up paying for the reputation of an institute," an official commented. Though the AICTE claims it has no direct control over fees, which are regulatted by state fee committees, educationists blame the council for 'gross commercialisation' of education.

"The AICTE is not only responsible for the quality of a course but also for the fees charged. It can't shirk its responsibility and blame the state committees," an educationist said.

However, the blame game may finally be over once the guidelines are formulated.