The Congress and BJP today staged a walkout in the Telangana Assembly protesting that the TRS Government resorted to strong-arm tactics against the engineering colleges in a bid to dampen the fee reimbursement scheme for students.
Their protest came in the wake of the recent declaration from the Government that ten engineering colleges in Telangana have been approached to be closed down as they were found deficient in imparting technical education.
Defending the government and denying opposition charges the Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Kadiam Srihari said that it was not the intention of the Government to ride roughshod on the managements when it served notices withdrawing affiliation of 163 colleges and 814 courses on January 31 last year.
It was done in response to a Supreme Court judgement for failure to adhere to norms of All India Council of Technical Education fixing certain built up area on the campuses, having qualified teaching faculty, well equipped laboratories and libraries and availability of computers.
Mr Srihari also said that criminal cases were booked on managements of 16 colleges for furnishing false information to the Government and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University about facilities on the campuses. "The Government was not trying to shy away from fee reimbursement scheme. It has cleared all dues till 2013-14 to the tune of Rs.1, 587 crore and made arrangements to bear the burden of 16-lakh students who would require Rs. 2,500 crore in 2014-15", concluded Mr Srihari.
The Opposition insisted that 80 colleges were on the verge of closure and asked the Government to explain how the affected students and teachers would be aided. BJP floor leader K. Laxman said that the pathetic situation was a result of the Government leaving the responsibility of technical education to private sector.