Powerful Beneficiaries Keep Fee Reimbursement Scheme Alive

Powerful Beneficiaries Keep Fee Reimbursement Scheme Alive

It is not the socially backward but the politically powerful that the fee reimbursement scheme serves, or so it seems. While the state government had introduced the scheme two years ago to help students whose parental income was less than Rs 1 lakh per annum, it is for the politically influential management lobbies or college managements running more than five colleges under their name, that the scheme is being retained even after being proven to be drilling a hole into the state’s coffers.

Alarmingly, a significant amount of the fee reimbursement money since the past two years has been siphoned off by colleges run, managed or coowned by state legislators or those related to them. Others who are trying to retain the scheme include management groups that have over fivecolleges registered under their names. Predictably, they have been putting up a spirited fight to retain the scheme as each of the colleges owned by them are making Rs 3 crore per annum under the scheme.

On average, each of these college groups directly or indirectly linked to politicians and with 1,000 seats covered by the scheme draw as much as Rs 18 to Rs 25 crore per annum in the form of reimbursements, said officials of higher education department.

And these politicians managing educational institutions that have five to ten colleges operating under their banners include leaders from Congress, TDP and even Praja Rajyam Party.

According to sources in the education department some of the most influential colleges including Vasavi Engineering College owned by P Balaji, the son of former governor and minister, P Venkata Subbaiah allegedly lobbied to introduce the special fee structure for NRI students who take admission incolleges to add to the college’s coffers.

If politicians are a key beneficiary, managements running more than five colleges are also keenly interested that the scheme stays alive. These include Malla Reddy Group of Institutions which has around 10 colleges, Arora Group of Colleges which has eight colleges, TRR Group of Colleges that has five colleges and Vignan Group of Colleges that has four colleges.

Observers say that several rural engineering colleges with genuine students who need fee reimbursement scheme are being left out of the benefits of the scheme as most of the money falls into the hands of the wealthy colleges. “Even now the money from fee reimbursement scheme is reaching the hands of the biggest management groups. There are several colleges with needy students which are still waiting for money from the scheme to reach them,” G Eswaraiah, AP State General Secretary, All India Students Federation. Sources from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) confirmed the claim stating that the commissionerate of technical education is planning to strengthen measures that will curb such lobbying.

Senior officials from JNTU said that unequal distribution of funds is only tip of the iceberg. “From All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to thestate government management representatives can get things done. From the university’s side we can only help in putting pressure on them by insisting on quality infrastructure and facilities. But the ball is usually in their court,” an official said.

The state government is currently being burdened with a fund requirement of Rs 4,500 crore by colleges in the state that are eligible for reimbursement.


MLA M Srinivas Rao (Congress) owns Avanthi group of colleges
MLA N Sesha Reddy (Congress) owns Aditya group of Institutions
MLA M Raju (Congress) owns Chaitanya group of colleges
MLA Maheshwar Reddy (Congress), owns Maheswara group of colleges
District secretary of Congress party, Rammohan Reddy, owns TRR group of colleges
MLC Alapati Rajendra Prasad (TDP) owns NRI group of colleges
MLA E Krishna (PRP), owns Mother Teresa group of colleges
MLA M Vijayanirmala (PRP), owns Nova group of colleges

Source: The Times Of India , Thursday , November 4th , 2010.

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