Engineering Students
Engineering Students [Representational Image]IBTimes India

The Karnataka government has approved a proposal to hike undergraduate engineering course fees by 10 per cent from the next academic year.

Over the past two years, engineering courses fees have been increased by 18 per cent. In 2018, a commission was formed under Justice Shailendra Kumar to make sure that the colleges do not collect more than eight per cent fee hike.

The Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association (KUPECA) wanted a hike of 25 per cent. However, the state government made it 10 per cent. With this, the government quota seats which was Rs 53,460 in 2018-19 will now cost Rs 58,806 in 2019-20.

"The decision on fee hike was made at the earliest as the election code of conduct might kick in any time. Though the colleges demanded a 25% hike, we have capped it at 10%," education minister HT Devegowda was quoted as saying by Times of India.

According to a report by TOI, there are 56,843 government seats under quota in 242 private engineering colleges across Karnataka. There are 1, 84, 914 students currently appearing for the Common Entrance Test for engineering colleges in the state.

One of the reasons for the massive fee hike is the hike in the salaries of teachers as per the UGC pay scale for professors according to the 7th Pay Commission.

"Teachers' salaries have gone up by 22%. It won't be easy for colleges to comply with norms without a fee hike. Hence, we asked for a 25% hike. The government agreed to 10%, and we are bound by that," said Shetty, a member of a consortium of private engineering colleges, told TOI.

Last week, the state government had increased the fees for medical college courses by 15 per cent. The Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (ComedK) submitted the proposal to the state government for all government seats under ComedK quota seats to incorporate the new costs from the academic years of 2019-20, reports The Times of India.