| Handique Girls’ College |
Aug. 7: City colleges are finding it tough to execute Dispur’s instruction to introduce a uniform fee structure along with the rest of their counterparts in the state.
In May, education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had made it mandatory for every college in the state to have a uniform fee structure, the prime objective being to do away with hidden fees that many colleges were reportedly charging from students.
The government accordingly constituted a committee of five principals from different colleges to examine the existing fee structure and suggest a uniform one.
Sources told The Telegraph that there is a significant difference between the annual expenditure incurred by the city colleges and those situated outside Guwahati. Under such circumstances, the fee structure cannot be identical or uniform.
“For example, the amount of monthly electricity bills of Cotton College, B. Borooah College and Handique Girls’ College is much higher than the colleges in Nalbari town and villages. The city colleges incur higher expenditure in organising annual sports festival or any other event. On other hand, the city students are more demanding and ask for several facilities at their institutes than their counterparts in other parts of the state. Under such circumstances it is not feasible for the colleges to introduce a uniform fee structure,” a teacher at a leading city college said.
Sources said junior and private colleges, which do not receive any financial assistance from the government, would be hard hit if the government goes ahead with implementing its decision in toto.
A teacher of a private junior college said though his institute does not receive any financial assistance from the government, it does not charge high fees from students.
“We take whatever is necessary to run the college. Now if the government wants a uniform fee structure, my college has to do the restructuring which may not be possible or feasible,” the teacher said.
Balendra Kumar Das, principal of Paschim Guwahati Mahavidyalaya and president of Assam College Principals’ Council, too admitted that the fee structure cannot be the same uniformly, adding that the government has to look into the issue seriously and give an alternative.
“I have discussed the matter with the uniform fee structure committee. The government has to back all colleges in the state with frequent financial assistance to introduce the uniform fee structure which may not be feasible,” Das said.