Hyderabad: In an another major jolt to engineering colleges which are not paying heed to the fee structure, the Supreme Court gave an interim order on Tuesday to include the Sreenidhi Institute of Science and Technology as well along with Vasavi Institute of Technology following the petition by the Telangana state government, stating that these engineering colleges were charging more fees from the students.
The apex court said that colleges should collect the fee as per the guidelines of the Fee regulation committee that are constituted by the state. The next hearing of this case would be on January 3, 2019.
According to Mr. Srinadh, the chairman of Engineering Colleges Joint Action Committee, “Earlier the fight was by only Vasavi Engineering College Parents association, but now we have appealed in court and participated in hearings. In the latest move, the government of Telangana has also played a key role and fought with us, because of which we got a relief regarding the fee structure. Now, Srinidhi College was also made to comply with the same orders which were given to the Vasavi college earlier.”
The first order in favour of the parents came earlier in mid-November. The apex court had then given an interim order to the Vasavi Institute of Technology, which has been collecting Rs 63,000 additional fee from the parents, whereas the fee structure that was permitted by the Telangana Admissions and Fee Regulatory Committee (TAFRC) was only Rs 97,000 for the block period between 2016 to 2019.
Parents associations are happy as the state government has also come to their rescue, in their fight. Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Naganti Narayana, the state president of Telangana Parents Association, said, “It’s a major relief to all the parents and children who have gone till the Supreme Court and fought for this cause and the state government’s support has given a boost to our struggle. The parents are happy with this move and the confidence in the judiciary has been strengthened.”
Earlier, when these engineering colleges approached the Hyderabad High Court, they were permitted to collect the fee of Rs 1.6 lakh and Rs 1.37 lakh per student for the academic years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively in the last week of August, 2018.
Further, Mr Narayana added, “As Vasavi and Srinidhi Engineering institutes have gone to the High court earlier to increase the fee, it was possible for us to go till the Supreme Court and fight. The other engineering colleges such as Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology (CBIT) and Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology (MJIT) are also collecting more fees, in addition to schools.”
“In the wake of the Supreme Court judgement, there are chances that the future High court judgements will also fall in line in favour of the parents, as the apex court has now clarified that TAFRC has the power to regulate the fee structure,” he added.
Though the Supreme Court has clarified regar-ding the fee structure now, in the past, because of the pressure from the college managements, many of the parents have already paid the additional fee that the colleges demanded.
Now, many parents are in a dilemma, whether that amount would get refunded or not and parents have started appro-aching the parents association to do something in this regard as well.
Vasavi Engineering College Parents Associ-ation is also going to file a petition regarding the refund of the already paid fee as well before the next hearing, which is scheduled on January 3.
This order has created a wave of hope in parents associations that it would pave the way for the regulation of fee in school managements as well, where there is no proper fee regulation committee like the professional colleges have.
Mr Narayana added, “Despite having a committee also, professional colleges would collect whatever they wanted on one or other pretext, but when it comes to schools, many parents are still suffering with the unstructured fees being a burden on them. This move by the Supreme Court has given the confidence that colleges would start taking the fee regulation committee seriously.”
- The Supreme Court said colleges should collect the fee as per the guidelines of the fee regulation committee constituted by the state.
- In mid-November, the apex court had given an interim order to the Vasavi Institute of Technology (VIT). The college was collecting `63,000 additional fee from the parents, whereas the fee structure that was permitted by the Telangana Admissions and Fee Regulatory Committee (TAFRC) was only `97,000 for the block period between 2016 to 2019.
- Parents associations are happy as the state government has also come to their rescue, in their fight.