In a volte-face, the State government, on Monday, reverted to the 8% fee hike [from last year] for engineering courses from the 10% hike announced last week, for the 2018-19 academic year. This decision was taken after a meeting between Higher Education Department officials and private engineering college managements on Monday.

The government was in a soup after the fee regulatory committee, headed by retired judge D.V. Shylendra Kumar, had threatened that they would file contempt of court if the government did not cap the hike at 8% which was the rate fixed by the committee for all professional courses.

Sources in the department said although both, the department and private college managements, had agreed to a 10% hike last week, they decided to retract to avoid legal hassles.

With this, the engineering fees for the 2018–19 academic year is Rs. 53,460 or Rs. 59,400 for government quota seats in private colleges. Similarly, the fees for COMEDK quota seats in private colleges is Rs. 1.83 lakh or Rs. 1.3 lakh.

M.K. Panduranga Setty, president of the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association, said, “We initially signed an agreement for 10%, but the government was yet to sign it. The government on Monday requested us to agree to a hike of 8%. We have agreed in the interests of students and parents in order to avoid legal hassles,” he said. Mr. Setty also said the Karnataka Examinations Authority will have to race against time to complete the admissions by the end of this month.

Sources said that although both the Higher Education Department and private college managements had agreed to a 10% increase, they decided to retract to avoid legal hassles.

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