In a move that could hit big corporate groups running professional and technical colleges in the state,at least for the current academic year,Governor Kamla Beniwal has returned the Gujarat Technical Educational Colleges or Institutions (Regulations of Admission and Fixation of fees)(Amendment) Bill,2012,for reconsideration.
The Bill,passed during the Budget Session of the state Assembly in March this year,aimed at granting Centre of Excellence status to some of the private engineering colleges and take them out of the purview of the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) of the state government to allow them freedom to fix their fees by themselves.
The education department,which drafted the Bill,had argued that granting independence in matters pertaining to fixation of fees was necessary to invite big groups to set up centres of excellence in technical and professional education in the state. They had pleaded that no institution would be ready to set up its branches in the state if it was forced to be put under FRC.
The FRC allows a maximum tuition fee of Rs 80,000 per annum to be charged from B.Tech students. Big institutions like Nirma University,Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University and Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DAIICT) have been demanding they be allowed to raise their fees since they were providing the best of teaching infrastructure,including faculties,that required huge investment. It was not possible,they argued,to maintain high standards with the present fee structure given the high salaries they paid to their academic staff.
The Governor has returned the Bill with a few comments and expressed concerns that it could adversely affect the interests of students in the state and hence,it needs reconsideration, a senior official said.