Moving a step closer towards fee regulation at the national level, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has accepted the report of the government-appointed committee, which had recommended a ceiling on the tuition fee charged by all private institutes for technical courses including engineering and MBA.
As reported by The Indian Express on November 19, a 10-member panel headed by former Supreme Court Judge B N Srikrishna had proposed a range of maximum fees to be charged by private institutes.
For instance, the committee has fixed the maximum (tuition and development) fee for a two-year MBA course at Rs 1.57 lakh to Rs 1.71 lakh per annum, depending on the location of the institute. The annual fee for a four-year engineering degree (BE or B Tech) has been fixed at Rs 1.44 lakh to 1.58 lakh. It has also proposed the maximum fee for technical courses like B Arch, B Pharma, MCA and M Tech.
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The AICTE accepted all the recommendations at its council meeting on December 11 and decided to draft a regulation on the fee to be charged by private institutes. But before that, it will share the committee’s report with state governments for their comments, and to apprise them of the additional financial burden which they will have to bear because of increased scholarships, said sources.
The HRD Ministry too has been requested to consult the Finance Ministry on the funds required for scholarships once the recommendations are implemented. The AICTE, however, hasn’t decided on a timeline to introduce the fee regulation.
The Justice Srikrishna committee was set up by the AICTE to honour the Supreme Court’s direction in the TMA Pai Foundation case. The apex court had ruled that to prevent commercialisation of technical education, the fee charged by private institutes should be decided by the state governments until a national-level fee fixation committee gives its recommendations.
Once the report is implemented, all private institutes which take more than the prescribed fee will have to fall in line. The report makes an exception for institutes of excellence by allowing autonomous and accredited institutes to charge 10 per cent and 20 per cent additional tuition fee respectively.
However, it is not clear what will happen to reputed institutes which charge more, despite the exception made for excellence. The Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) in Jamshedpur, for instance, takes Rs 9 lakh per annum for its post-graduate diploma in management, which is equivalent to a two-year MBA. The TA Pai Management Institute in Manipal or TAPMI charges Rs 7 lakh for the same.