Private colleges’ strike over pending dues to affect entrance exams in Telangana

Lakhs of students appearing for various entrance examinations, including the Engineering, Medical and Agriculture Common Entrance Test (EAMCET), in Telangana may find themselves at the receiving end following the indefinite strike called by private college managements on April 18. 

The private colleges in the state are up in arms against the Government’s inordinate delay in releasing fee reimbursement scheme funds amounting to Rs 3,000 crore. The Joint Action Committee constituted by the management of private colleges has sought the immediate release of this amount.

What has irked the private colleges is the Government’s decision to inspect 6,843 colleges by officials from the anti-corruption bureau, police and intelligence officers, CID among other concerned department officials. The Committee demanded that inspections must be held only by the concerned department officials.

The Government aims to identify irregularities and misuse of funds provided under the fee reimbursement scheme to private colleges in the state. “We will not cooperate with the government for conducting the entrance examinations if our demands are not fulfilled by April 30,” said Ramana Rao, convenor of JAC.

As per the order issued by the Telangana earlier this month, the teams have to inspect the colleges and submit a report with specific recommendations not later than the beginning of the 2016-17 academic session.

The Government has already allotted centers for various examinations. The strike called by the private colleges will impact the plans set by the Government for competitive exams. 

However, the Government is unwilling to budge on the inspection issue. “We have every right to inspect these private institutions for misuse of funds and other irregularities. They cannot threaten the government as we have already issued a GO to release pending fee reimbursement of Rs 2,500 crore. The colleges should be patient and not play with the future of lakhs of students as it may not serve their purpose,” said T Papi Reddy, Chairman, Telangana State Council of Higher Education.