Fee waiver for Punjab students awaits AICTE nod
More than 7000 ‘meritorious’ students can avail tuition fee waiver benefit during current academic session if All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) grants ‘special’ permission to Punjab, allowing it 10 per cent seats over and above sanctioned strength of its technical institutions.
The eligible students will get monetary benefit of Rs 1.98 lakh during four years degree course while diploma students will receive Rs 54,450 for three years course.
The annual income of parents of such beneficiaries should not be more than Rs 2.50 lakh. The students under various streams of engineering, pharmacy, hotel management and catering technology, architecture and applied arts and crafts are covered under the scheme.
AICTE had earlier rejected the state’s special permission plea to increase seats under the apex body’s tuition fee waiver scheme for not confirming to its laid down procedures.
Principal Secretary, Technical Education and Industrial Training, Suresh Kumar said AICTE was likely to grant special permission to Punjab for filling 10 per cent additional seats under tuition fee waiver scheme.
“The AICTE insists every approved technical institution should separately apply for grant of 10 per cent supernumerary seats while we are demanding permission on behalf of all institutions to ensure compulsory implementation of scheme. We are hopeful to get positive note from regulator since thousands of students will be able to avail monetary assistance for pursuing their higher education plans,” Suresh added.
He said unlike the past, state government will fill such seats through counselling as per AICTE norms.
The scheme is voluntarily for unaided privately managed technical institutions and compulsory for government and government aided institutions.
Though Punjab had notified compulsory implementation of fee waiver scheme after signing a MoU with Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA) two years ago but it was not implementedproperly. The state government had issued show cause notices to several institutions for not admitting students as per scheme last year.
“A majority of private colleges are not keen to extend fee waiver in lieu of 10 per cent additional seats. But state government has been pursuing the issue with AICTE to ensure benefit for meritorious students,” sources said.
The norms say for every 60 sanctioned intake in a discipline, tuition fee waiver shall be offered to one physically handicapped student. Out of remaining five, three seats shall be offered exclusively to women students. In the event of non-availability of students in a specific category, the benefit will be given to any other categories according to the merit. However vacant seats shall not be offered to general candidates.
The state government, being admission authority, shall display tuition fee waiver status against each institution, programme and course during admissions so that the students can freely exercise their informed choice, the norms said.