Thiruvananthapuram: Confusion over the NRI quota is delaying the agreement between self-financing engineering colleges and the state government for admissions to BTech courses. The managements are willing to continue with the last year’s fee structure and to leave 50 percent seats to the government. The prevalent NRI quota as per previous arrangements is 15 per cent. However, All India Cou-ncil for Technical Education (AICTE) fixed five per cent seats as the NRI quota last year. Colleges were allowed to increase the number from five per cent to 15 per cent by paying a fee of Rs 1 lakh. NRI quota admissions were withheld in some colleges last year for not paying this.
However, it was later ratified after they paid a fine of Rs 5 lakh to the AICTE and Rs 1 lakh to the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University. Kerala Self-Financing Engineering College Management Association (KSFECMA) president Jerry Mathai told this newspaper that there were no major dispute over the quota. The law secretary had asked if the colleges had any problem in fixing the NRI quota at five per cent. They made it clear that they did not agree to this, Mr Mathai said. The decision to fix NRI quota at 15 per cent was based on the Self-Financing Act of 2006. Education is in the concurrent list, and the state has the right to take such decisions, he said.
Last year it was a unified fee for all government quota seats in 57 engineering colleges. Moreover, the fee was reduced from Rs 75,000 to Rs 50,000 for all the seats in these 57 colleges. However, the remaining 41 colleges would have a two-tier fee structure — Rs 50,000 for lower income group and Rs 50,000 and a special fee of Rs 25,000 for others. As per the agreement, 50 per cent seats will be government quota, 35 per cent management quota and 15 per cent NRI quota. A family with an annual income limit of Rs 50,000 was considered lower income group.