Miffed with the government over uncleared dues, the managements of private degree colleges in Telangana are planning to boycott the second semester examinations for first year degree students in Satavahana University in Karimnagar from May 13. This move comes as the Telangana Degree and PG Private Affiliated Colleges Managements Association gave a boycott call over pending reimbursement of fees from the state Universities.
Among those boycotting the exams are private colleges under Kakatiya University (KU) in Warangal and Osmania University in Hyderabad too. Nearly 2.5 lakh students are expected to be affected by the boycott called by the association.
“The government recently cleared the reimbursement dues of 2015-16. However, after the Telangana government had introduced the Degree Online Service Telangana (DOST) last year, nearly Rs 500 crore tuition fees and scholarship money is still due. The government cannot admit a second batch of students without clearing the 2016-17 dues,” Ramana Reddy, president, Telangana Degree and PG Colleges Management Association told TNM.
Degree Online Service Telangana (DOST) was introduced for centralised online admissions into degree courses across the state, however, the association alleged that there have been several problems with the software.
“The government has not linked students enrolled with ePass and online payment. We are not allowed to collect the tuition fees from the students, and even the government has not cleared the fee reimbursement dues of last year. We have demanded that online admissions should be postponed until the issue is resolved,” he added.
He says this is irresponsible behaviour by the government, which has turned a blind eye towards problems faced by private colleges. For the past one year, the colleges have been facing acute shortage of fund due to the pending dues, he adds.
“More than 1.5 lakh staff members of degree colleges have not received their salaries for the past five months. The colleges are surviving on loans but the situation has been going worse,” said Ramana.
Last year, the managements of private degree colleges in Telangana took a similar step by boycotting the supplementary exams, even as the government failed to make payments under its fee reimbursement programme. The scheme covers the education fee for students pursuing professional and degree courses in Telangana state for the past two years.
However, the situation is no different this year, said Ramana. The association has also demanded an increase in the tuition fees for the academic year 2017-18.
“The expenses of the private colleges have doubled, but the past five governments have not raised the tuition fees. This has resulted in bankruptcy for several private colleges,” he added.