Odisha Technical Institutions pitch for Courses Fee Hike

Bhubaneswar, Nov 18: The private technical colleges in Odisha have batted for a substantial hike in fees for courses before a central government appointed committee for rationalising the cost of technical education in the country.

The fee structure committee appointed by the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry headed by Justice BN Srikrishna was in the state capital on Sunday to seek views of various stake holders in the eastern states for rationalisation of fee structure for different disciplines of technical courses.

The national panel, which would recommend a model fee structure for the entire country aimed at reducing the gap between similar types of institutions in different parts of India, held the discussions with the senior officials of the department of Employment Technical Education and Training (ETET), representatives of Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA), Odisha Private Engineering Schools Association (OPESA), Odisha Management College Association (OMCA) and Odisha Technical College Association (OTCA) at a meeting held at Hotel Kalinga Ashoka.

Putting his views on the fee hike before the committee headed by Justice Srikrishna and other members including Vice-Chairman Abinash  S Panth, AICTE, Regional Officer, AICTE, Kolkata and other dignitaries, OPESA secretary Saroj Kumar Sahoo said, the fees for Diploma courses in the stat have not been revised since 2010, adding, "the non recurring and recurring expenses for diploma engineering courses is 75% of the degree engineering courses". However, the fees for diploma courses was significantly lower compared to degree courses though the input cost is almost the same.

Demanding the fee hike, he said, "For the requirement of highly skilled diploma engineers we need to invest for modernising infrastructure, laboratories and workshops. The fee must be revised to make it proportionate with that of engineering", suggesting the committee for the revision of fee every two years.

However, the focus should be on the quality of education while deciding the fee structure, Sahoo told the panel.

"While the deemed universities were charging around Rs 2 lakh per year for undergraduate engineering, the state level fee committee had allowed maximum Rs 63,000 to the best private colleges", told OPECA representative to the panel.

The management colleges also sought fee hike saying, the management education needs massive investment on infrastructure, human resources and research and development (R&D).

Odisha Management College Association (OMCA) also batted for the fee hike saying, the institutions have to spend on international accreditation, which is required under General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Thus, the fee hike is essential for the professional and management courses in the state to meet the requirements.