Sunday, October 30, 2011

Uniform fee for all the students in a college except for the NRI quota: HC
A Division Bench of the AP High Court comprising Justice Goda Raghu Ram and Justice P. Durga Prasad on Saturday quashed the notifications issued by the State government in August 2010 pertaining to the fee to be paid by students in private engineering colleges.
The Bench said that there shall be uniform fee for all the students in a college except for the NRI quota. The judgment covers unaided colleges offering engineering, MBA, MCA, and Pharmacy courses.

It was allowing a batch of writ petitions filed by engineering college managements complaining that the government and Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC) were acting arbitrarily and fixing the fee without taking into consideration the situation in each college. They said that by fixing separate fee for A and B categories, one set of students were forced to subsidise the other, which was constitutionally impermissible.

Speaking through Justice Raghu Ram, the Bench declared that this is not permissible in view of judgment of Supreme Court. In a 102-page judgment, it declared that Section 7 of A.P. Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Prohibition of Capitation Fee) Act 1983, “does not enable the State itself to fix and notify a fee structure; that would impermissibly trench upon the operational autonomy of self financing educational institutions”. At present, the fee for A category seats in private engineering college is Rs.30,000 and nearly Rs.90,000 for B category. This, the Bench said, amounted to cross subsidy and was unconstitutional. The Bench permitted the AFRC to recommend and the State government to notify a higher fee for students admitted into 15 per cent quota for NRIs. This fee shall be deposited in a separate bank account to be employed for the benefit of students from economically weaker sections. The Bench made it clear that the AFRC and the State government cannot fix uniform fee for all the colleges. The fixation of fee structure shall be college-specific. The Bench said that in December of the preceding academic year, the notification shall be given and then colleges shall give details of expenditure.

This shall be analysed by the AFRC if need be by a competent external agency and notify the fee for that college for all the seats, except those under the NRI quota. The government is to notify the fee structure in March of the preceding academic year. The court directed the State to notify the fee structure proposals for academic years 2010-2011, 2011-2012 & 2012-2013 within three months.

Updated on: 30 th Oct 2011

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