Telangana eyes private colleges to boost rolls

The Telangana State government is in a dilemma on the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) front with the scrapping of the fee reimbursement scheme in the state. The government is now left to woo the private sector to set up more colleges to boost the GER in the state after barring 174 private engineering colleges from participating in Eamcet counselling.

GER in TS is above the national average and senior officials say it is due to the fee reimbursement scheme. But the government has introduced the FAST scheme this year and intends to filter out as many students as possible from government aid. According to the government, the GER in the state currently stands at 31:100 GER in the state got a boost in the last decade with mushrooming engineering colleges and financial assistance from the state to a major section of the population."GER in the state is currently much above the national average and that has happened because of the fee reimbursement scheme," a senior education department official said.

But though the FAST scheme was introduced with the government stating that it would increase the GER in the state, the boost wouldn't be as much as in the earlier years since the number of beneficiary students will be cut down. Government-level discussions on the higher education policy have led to the conclusion that the state needs to set up more engineering colleges to further boost the GER. This would require private investment worth several thousands of crores.

"Private investment is the only way since the government can't pump in so much of money," another official said.But again that seems to be a difficult scenario now with most engineering colleges turning into Non-Performing Assets (NPA) and being on the verge of shutdown.
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