The fee reimbursement burden on the state exchequer is expected to increase manifold as per the recent orders of the Supreme Court pertaining to a fee hike in those engineering colleges that come forward to implement AICTE pay scales for faculty. Concerned, the state government has initiated an assessment exercise to ascertain the exact nature of the financial burden.
The government has allocated Rs 3,500 crore for fee reimbursement this year to finance nearly 27 lakh students from socially and economically weaker sections to pursue professional and other courses in higher education. The government expects the amount to shoot up to Rs 10,000 crore if the fee is increased by 40 per cent.
The SC has allowed an increase in fee, ranging from 7 per cent to 42 per cent, in 13 colleges that submitted all the financial statements and directed that the fee be revised in respect of other colleges too who give their undertaking before the Supreme Court within a week from May 9, regarding implementation of AICTE pay scales for faculty.
The government expects that an estimated 2,000 professional and other colleges may approach the Supreme Court for a fee hike with an undertaking that they would also implement the revised pay scales and adhere to quality education and required infrastructure.
“If the apex court permits their plea, the burden of the state government on the fee reimbursement scheme to all the eligible students, belonging to the SC, ST, BC, EBCs, minorities, and PHCs on a saturation basis will go up by leaps and bounds from the present Rs 3,500 crore. This likely scenario will have far-reaching consequences on the state’s finances and may affect the government’s efforts to improve the quality of education, particularly primary and secondary education,” highly placed sources in the government remarked.
With mounting arrears, the government had to release Rs 5,250 crore for the scheme last year. The government expects that the B.Tech fees will increase to Rs 50,200 on an average: Currently, the fee is Rs 31,000 per annum.
Source : DC
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