New Delhi: The Ministry of Education is considering a proposal to fix a fees range for technical institutions affiliated to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), ThePrint has learnt. The guidelines will be applicable to all engineering, management and other institutions affiliated to the AICTE and will fix both an upper, as well as a lower limit for the total amount of money that can be charged to students.
According to sources privy to the development, the proposal on fixing the fees range for these institutions was submitted by the AICTE to the ministry 15 days ago, and an official order is expected soon.
“The ministry is currently considering a fees proposal by AICTE, which is based on a report by an expert committee. The report talks about the minimum and maximum fees technical institutions can charge. We are awaiting the final nod of the minister, post which an official order will be released,” a ministry official told ThePrint, confirming the development.
According to sources, the minimum fees which has been suggested by the expert committee is in the range of Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 85,000 annually for engineering courses. This figure, however, was not confirmed by ministry officials, who maintained that the figures will be made official only once the report is out.
Demand for minimum fees range
A committee under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court judge, Justice B.N. Srikrishna, was constituted in 2015 and the committee in its report put a cap on the maximum amount of fees colleges can charge.
The committee had fixed a maximum fees of Rs Rs. 1.57 lakh to 1.71 lakh per annum for a two-year MBA course and a limit of Rs. 1.44 lakh to Rs. 1.58 lakh for a four-year engineering programme. The exact fees was dependent on the location of the institute, keeping in mind infrastructural expenditures incurred by it.
However, soon after colleges made a demand for the minimum fees range to be fixed as well, which is why the committee was then tasked with fixing the starting limit for fees.
The order that the ministry will now release is likely to fix both maximum and minimum fees limits for colleges.
Explaining the move, an AICTE official said, “We received several representations from state universities asking for a minimum limit of fees for technical colleges. Some institutions informed that they were having to charge very less money, because the state did not allow them to charge beyond a certain limit. That is because the fees for students from reserved categories are supposed to be reimbursed by the state government. So they asked colleges to keep their fees low. Colleges told us that this in turn was affecting their finances and hence they asked us to decide a minimum limit which they can charge.”
For example, if an institution is currently having to charge Rs. 50,000 annually because of the state government approved limit, and if the AICTE’s minimum range is Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 85,000 per annum, the institution stands to gain substantially.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)