Saturday, 22 October 2011

Committee awaits state govt's decision on jurisdiction issue

PUNE: The fee proposals submitted by 556 colleges offering education and physical education courses in the state continue to be untouched by the Shikshan Shulka Samiti (fee fixation panel) as the issue of who should finalise fees of these colleges remains unresolved.
The fee panel had earlier made a reference to the state government seeking the latter's unambiguous stance over the fee regulations notified in Government of India's official gazette on August 25, 2010, by the National Council for Teachers' Education (NCTE), the regulatory body for teachers' education in the country.
These regulations, titled 'The NCTE (Guidelines for regulation of tuition fees and other fees chargeable by unaided teachers education institutions) Amendment Regulations, 2010', provide that the state government should set up a committee to recommend fees for education colleges.
The fees determined so by the state level committee shall be approved by the competent authority i.e., the University Grants Commission, the central or the state government, the regulations state.
On July 15, the state department for higher and technical education (H&TE) responded to the fee panel's reference by furnishing a letter explaining its position on the matter. However, the letter left a few queries unanswered and prompted the fee panel to make a fresh reference to the government to clear its stance.
"The panel will process the fee proposals for BEd/BPEd as well as MEd/MPEd courses only after it gets a clear view of the government on where the panel stands in the wake of the NCTE regulations of August 2010," said the fee panel's office secretary P E Gaikwad while speaking to TOI.
Gaikwad said, "The fee panel has allowed these colleges to charge an interim fee along the lines of the one applicable to other courses like engineering, till the issue of fixation of final fees is decided."
Of the total 2,325 fee proposals, which the panel is expecting to receive for AY 2011-12 from various professional colleges, the education and physical education colleges account for a collective share of 696 proposals. Of these, 556 proposals have been submitted with the fee panel but haven't been processed yet. This includes 402 proposals by BEd colleges; 95 by MEd colleges; 47 by BPEd colleges and another 12 by MPEd colleges.
The fee panel started processing the 2011-12 fee proposals from June onwards and has already declared the final fees of 684 colleges including 139 engineering degree colleges, 125 engineering diploma institutions and 138 management institutions. The entire process of finalisation of fees for a given year usually ends by December.
The H&TE department's letter was discussed at the fee panel's meeting held on August 24. The panel then observed that the government had not taken into consideration those regulatory provisions, which provide for setting up of a state-level committee and the NCTE's role in deciding any question over interpretation of the regulations in case of any doubt.
The fee panel then noted in its minutes, "This committee therefore prima facie has no jurisdiction to decide the fees of such colleges. Government should therefore explain the position."

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