22 Mar : Private colleges and deemed universities charging exorbitant fees and selling costly admission prospectus better watch out as the UGC plans to keep a hawk eye on amounts collected by them.This follows an example set by Anna University in Tamil Nadu, which has regulated fees collected by private engineering colleges.
"UGC officials will monitor the cost of applications and prospectus for various courses and admission fees to ensure it does not cross the ceiling fixed by the commission," a top UGC official said on condition of anonymity.
The UGC had already informed Vice Chancellors of all universities about this through a circular, he said.The circular comes soon after the government fixed the target of seeing that at least 15 percent of students get higher education in the 11th five year plan.
"Unless universities strictly implement norms with regard to fee collections, the target will become unreachable," he said.The official said the UGC would also focus on scholarship money, especially that given to research scholars to ensure it is used properly and also whether these students were being provided proper hostel facilities and food at all places of research.
The official said the UGC had already started the process of bringing in a regulatory mechanism to check the prices of prospectus. Another proposal was to stop colleges from collecting money from students under the pretext of holding entrance examinations, the official said.
Universities and colleges collecting separate forms for separate courses were doing so against legal provisions and customs."Colleges and universities may be holding common entrance examination for various subjects, but may ask students to buy separate application forms for various subjects. This is unethical and UGC wants to stop the practice," he said.
The official, quoting a survey by a private agency in some universities, said the price of application forms are a burden on students and their parents. "Students feel they are being exploited," he said.
He said UGC had asked for suggestions within two weeks on fixing prices of applications and common applications, which an expert committee would analyse before implementation.