When students are fighting against VTU to remove year back system, yet vtu is thinking to hike exam fees.
The cash-strapped Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) is all set to increase the examination fees for all disciplines from the next semester onwards. The increase could be two to three fold.
Besides, the university is going for an upward revision of fees for issuing degree certificates. A proposal in this regard will be placed before the executive council of the VTU. Since the establishment of the university in 1998, this would be the first time the VTU would be increasing the fees.
Presently, an engineering student has to pay Rs 560 per semester to write the examination for six to seven subjects besides appearing for two practical exams. The revised fee could be around Rs 2,500 per semester, according to VTU Vice-Chancellor Karisiddappa.
There are 220 engineering colleges across the state that are affiliated to the university. Autonomous colleges collect Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000 as exam fee per semester.
“The cost of holding exams for a semester is around Rs 840, while we are charging just Rs 560. Our fees are less than 1/4th of the fees being collected by other state universities. Time has come to go in for a moderate increase in the fees. A final decision will be taken soon before holding the next exams in 2017.”
VTU Registrar H N Jagannatha Reddy said the university is going through a financial crisis as its balance has become nil.
“Earlier, we had Rs 550 crore as bank deposit of which Rs 55 crore interest was earned every month. All our expenditure was being met from the interest amount. After paying income tax of Rs 440 crore, we are left with nothing. Also, we have to pay another Rs 127 crore I-T dues. When we are facing a deficit of Rs 30 crore, how do we clear the dues,” he asked.
Reddy said that for issuing a degree certificate, they hardly collect Rs 600 while other varsities are charging much higher. “There is no option but to increase the fee to continue to sustain,” he said.
Karisiddappa said that Rs 85 crore to Rs 90 crore is required annually for paying salaries and maintenance. The VTU recently got an exemption from paying income tax under Section 12 (A) of the I-T Act, from 2016 onwards. Like other state universities, the VTU is now considered as a charitable trust, as imparting education is considered service.
The I-T department had frozen the account of the VTU due to non-payment of tax. But, finally, it got the exemption from paying income tax.
The VC said they had filed an appeal before the Central Board of Direct Taxes to exempt the varsity from paying the tax with retrospective effect (from April 1, 1998) instead of the prospective effect.
This would help the VTU in getting back Rs 440 crore which it has paid as tax. No private college pays income tax, Karisiddappa said.
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