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Dispur warns errant colleges over fees

Jorhat, Dec. 24: Dispur has warned provincialised colleges of the state of “appropriate action” for not depositing 70 per cent of tuition fees collected from students with the government in spite of several earlier directives.

This was stated in a hard-hitting letter by director of higher education (DHE) Phanindra Jidung to principals of provincialised colleges on Friday.

The letter has asked the principals of the defaulting colleges to deposit the same by December 30, without fail or face action.

Jidung’s earlier directive on November 15 to principals of all 189 provincialised colleges of the state, had asked them to deposit 70 per cent of the tuition fees collected from students from April 2007 to March 2013 since provincialisation, with his office by bank draft in the name of DHE.

The DHE director had then asked the principals to treat the directive as “topmost urgent” and deposit the said amount within 15 days of issue of the letter. The colleges were allowed to use the remaining 30 per cent of the tuition fees for development, including contingency and maintenance of assets.

Now in the latest directive (December 20), the DHE director has said, “it is to be regretted” that most of the principals have neither deposited the amount nor communicated any information regarding non-compliance with the instruction.

He said non-compliance with the government directive had been “seriously viewed and noted” by the higher authorities of the education department.

Though Jidung’s letter has not spelt out what action would be taken against errant principals, departmental sources said the government might take “tough steps” as per the prescribed rules governing the colleges. Sources said the principal, being the head of the institute, is responsible for non-fulfilment of a government directive.

Prior to provincialisation of colleges in Assam in 2007, the colleges, then known as deficit (grants-in-aid), used 70 per cent of the tuition fees collected from the students for paying salaries while the government paid the lion’s share. After provincialisation, the government pays the entire salary of college employees.

Sources said a huge amount (in crores) of money has been lying with the colleges from tuition fees after the colleges were provincialised.

Since September 30 the government has issued four letters (including the latest one with the warning) to the colleges asking for 70 per cent of the tuition fees.

Earlier this month, the director had asked all government and provincialised colleges of the state to send proposals regarding introduction of two new relevant subjects in the degree course from the next academic session, beginning August 2014.

There are five government colleges in the state and the government plans to set up 12 more in next three years.

The decision to introduce the subjects was taken in adherence to the announcement made by chief minister Tarun Gogoi in his last budget speech.

cash flow

Provincialised colleges are run by a governing body constituted by the government to manage its functioning

The governing body president, who is generally an academician or an administrator, has a term of five years

Government colleges do not have governing bodies as the government runs them directly

In government colleges, students pay nominal fees; the government bears the entire expenditure of the colleges, including salaries of employees

In provincialised colleges, the students’ fees are fixed by governing bodies as the government bears only the salary cost of employees