College fee structure: proper mechanism to be put in place

Managements express concern over AFRC not taking into consideration their demands. The Admission and Fee Regulation Committee (AFRC) is likely to be abolished and replaced with a full-fledged Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) to fix the fee structure of all professional courses in the State in view of the recent High Court judgement.

Officials in the Higher Education Department are of the view that a full-time mechanism has to be established anyway as per Supreme Court guidelines to streamline the fee structure and review it on a regular basis. Moreover, college managements have been quite vocal in their displeasure over the AFRC not taking into consideration their demands.

In fact, they have been alleging that the AFRC was only toeing the line of the government rather than “realistically” looking into their problems. The government is of the view that it will not lose much if the present AFRC goes and a full-time committee takes over, and that way it will not only adhere to the Supreme Court guidelines but also satisfy the managements that are not ready to compromise on the fee structure.However, a final decision will be taken after the Advocate General gives his views on the recent High Court judgement.

As of now, the government is under pressure from students and parents to appeal in the Supreme Court over the High Court judgement on variable fee structure. The Consortium of Engineering College Managements Association (CECMA) claimed that the AFRC was constituted to deal with the fee structure temporarily after the Supreme Court judgement before the government sets up its own mechanism.

The CECMA general secretary, P. Rajeshwar Reddy, charged that serious efforts were not put in for establishing a permanent committee and decide the fee structure transparently keeping all the documents in the public domain. The AFRC is supposed to scientifically study the fee fixed by the colleges and approve or reject rather than impose the government's fee structure.
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