Fee reimbursement: Students and college staff face the heat

The Telananga government is leaving no stone unturned to set strong guidelines for the fee reimbursement. It is reportedly said that, the government is mulling to extend the guidelines of fee reimbursement on scholarships and jobs too.

While the student's father's nativity is considered as eligibility for reimbursement, this is being extended to other schemes too. Although presidential order and article 371 D which decides nativity is in place. It is said that if the government goes with father’s nativity as a criteria for several schemes, it may end up in a legal tangle.

According to sources in higher education department, both the governments will not rule out the fee reimbursement as it would benefit several students from the economically poor background. But Telangana government is considering tougher guidelines to benefit Telangana students only.

Professional colleges in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are already facing a financial crisis as the governments are yet to release arrears of over Rs 2,000 crore towards reimbursement, which has been kept on hold for quite some time now. As the State has been bifurcated, arrears are yet to be divided among the two states. It is learnt that the government may not reimburse arrears of the Seemandhra students who have been studying in Telangana. Our sources said that as the arrears are yet to be released it has taken a toll on the salaries of professors and staff working in the engineering colleges. They said some 200 engineering colleges in both the states have stopped paying salaries to the faculty and staff members as they are not in a position pay.

Confirming this, P Rajeshwar Reddy, general secretary, private engineering management association, Telangana, said that some Rs 1,250 crore has been pending from the government. “If government doesn’t pay money to the colleges, how will they run the colleges,” he questioned.

Our sources added that certificates of students are withheld due to non-payment of college fee. This has left several Seemandhra students in jeopardy. "As the government took the responsibility of reimbursing fee, now the arrears have been stopped for a while, who will pay the fees. After a student takes admission, it's either government or the student who has to pay the fee. A few students who are from economically poor background cannot afford so their certificates are being withheld," said member of private engineering management association, Telangana. According to sources, a few engineering college managements which don't attract students are now paying the students from economically poor background to take admission in their college so that government would pay their fee.

The Telangana government made it clear that it would need some time to take a decision over the issue, educationists feel if issue is not resolved soon, the almanac of engineering students would be derailed if Eamcet counseling begins in October and the classes commence from November.
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