Circular on betterment fee sends PU colleges into a tizzy

Colleges pulled up for collecting fee, which was recommended by local MLAs

A circular by the Pre-University Department warning disciplinary action against principals of government PU colleges that collect additional fees as betterment charges has sent principals into a tizzy as the additional charges were collected as per recommendation of the college betterment committees headed by local MLAs.

The circular of Joint Director (Academics) on October 10 said Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S. Suresh Kumar has heard of some government PU colleges collecting betterment charges from students.

“This conduct is unacceptable. Principals of such colleges will be held responsible and disciplinary action will be taken. Deputy Directors of PU Education have been asked to inform principals in their jurisdiction and submit compliance report at the earliest,” the circular said.

Enquiries with the colleges revealed that the betterment charges were collected as per recommendations of the betterment committees. This amount ranges between ₹1,000 and ₹2,000 and was in addition to tuition fee that ranges between ₹225 and ₹2,300.

A principal of a government PU college in Dakshina Kannada said colleges were using the amount for maintenance work as government was not paying for it. The amount was also used for paying salary of Group D staff. The government has not appointed Group D staff since 1997. Additional expenditure incurred for starting of new courses were also borne through betterment the charges.

Supporting the action of the government, Shamsuddin, parent of a II PU student from Puttur, said colleges have no authority to make students pay for betterment. As against ₹250, girls in that college were made to pay betterment fee of ₹1,800, he said.

“Despite our poor financial status, we are forced to pay,” he said.

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