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Odisha private tech institutions demand hike in fees

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 17:

Representative bodies of private technical institutions in Odisha have batted for a substantial hike in fees for courses before the central government appointed national fee committee for rationalizing the cost of technical education in the country.

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The national fee structure committee appointed by the Union Human Resources Development ministry and headed by Justice B N Srikrishna was in the capital city on Sunday to seek views of the stake holders for rationalization of the fee structure for various disciplines of technical education.

The committee, which will recommend a model fee structure for the entire country aimed at reducing the fee gap between similar institutions, held discussions with senior officials of the department of Employment Technical Education and Training (ETET), Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA), Odisha Private Engineering Schools Association (OPESA), Odisha Management College Association (OMCA) and Odisha Technical College Association (OTCA).

“A large number of MBA pass outs from our state are getting jobs. The fee structure here is very less considering the infrastructure provided and the methodology adopted for such education,” said Prof. GD Das on behalf of OMCA. Das suggested the revision of the fee for MBA and PGDM courses offered in the state to Rs 4 lakh.

OPECA, in its representation to the committee, said that currently fees for engineering courses in the state varied from Rs 40,000 to Rs 80,000. Taking the present condition of engineering colleges in the state into consideratio, it was not possible to appoint quality teaching and non-teaching staff with his fee structure. It suggested that the annual fees for engineering courses be kept between Rs 60,000 to Rs 1.20 lakh. This fee structure should be applicable for the first three years, OPECA said.

Colleges having NAAC and NBA accreditation should be allowed to collect additional fees of Rs 5,000 to 10,000, and inform the students six months in advance how much fees is to be collected for which year. It complained before the panel that deemed universities were charging Rs 2 lakh a year for undergraduate engineering courses while the state government had allowed a maximum Rs 63,000 to the best private colleges. “We have sought a level playing field before the pane,l, said OPECA secretary Binod Dash.

Fees for diploma courses in the state have not been revised since 2010, said OPESA secretary Saroj Kumar Sahoo, in the association’s representation to the committee. He said in accordance with the 2010 fixation of fees, Rs 26,500 was being collected as annual fees from students of diploma courses in the state. OPESA, in its representation to the panel, said that fees for diploma courses was significantly lower compared to degree courses though the input cost is almost the same.

Through a powerpoint presentation before the Justice Srikrishna panel, the association said non-recurring and recurring expenses for diploma engineering courses is about 75% of degree courses. It said the course fee for diploma courses in the state was Rs 33,500 less in comparison to the minimum fees fixed for degree engineering courses in the state and demanded an immediate revision in fees for diploma courses in the state.

Sahoo said they told the committee that the focus should be on quality of education while fixing fees.

The national fee structure committee, after completing its discussion with different associations of management bodies of institutions imparting technical education in the state, held discussions with officers of the department of the  ETET of the state government. The officers of the department of Technical Education placed its demands before the panel.

The panel told the state government officials that it will recommend fee structures for different technical courses after studying all the representations placed before it.

The national fee structure committee included AICTE vice-chairman Abinash  S Panth, AICTE advisor Prof. A Rajsekharan and officials of eastern states.