The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has recommended setting a minimum and maximum limit on tuition fees charged by engineers and institutes in the country. In its proposal to the Ministry of Education, the council has sent a revised remuneration structure for technical courses, including an upper and lower cap on remuneration, a leading news daily reported.
For undergraduate engineering courses, the commission has suggested that the annual tuition fee may not be lower than Rs 79,000 while the maximum is limited to Rs 1.89 lakh. The new proposals come seven years after an expert committee first recommended setting an upper limit that charged colleges with tuition fees.
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The expert committee, in its submission in 2015, proposed to set the maximum fee for UG four-year engineering courses between Rs 1.44 lakh and Rs 1.58 lakh per year. However, so far there has been no minimum limit on the fee.
This comes after the National Medical Commission (NMC) asked private medical colleges to keep fees for 50 percent of the seats on par with those of government medical colleges of the next academic session.
The AICTE Executive Committee on 10 March had approved a report by the National Fees Committee chaired by Justice (retd) BN Srikrishna and forwarded to the Ministry of Education for further investigation.
Private engineering schools have long demanded a fixed minimum fee for technical courses, accusing state authorities of imposing impractical thresholds, causing difficulties in day-to-day functioning.
The Srikrishna Commission has also proposed in its proposal to set the fee for courses for engineering diplomas with Rs 1.4 lakh as the upper ceiling and Rs 67,000 as the minimum cap. For post-graduate engineering programs, the panel recommended Rs 3.03 lakh and Rs 1.41 lakh as maximum and minimum fees.
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The commission was set up by the government to propose guidelines to prevent the commercialization of technical education based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the TMA Pai Foundation’s case. The Supreme Court had suggested that fees for technical courses should be set by state governments until a committee for fixing fees at the national level gives its recommendations for preventing commercialization of technical education.
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