Planning Commission for charging 'user fee' in universities

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (UNI) The Planning Commission has in the 11th plan document suggested university fee level at 20 per cent of the operative cost of general higher education, the Lok Sabha was told today.

The Commission has argued that since most university students come from the top 10 per cent of the population on the basis of income levels, they would be able to pay that amount of fees, Minister of State for Human Resource Development D Purandeswari said in a written reply.

The fees for professional courses could be much higher. The fee levels should, therefore, be increased gradually in existing institutions but the fresh norms could be implemented in new institutions from the start, as per the Commission.

She, however, said the Government itself did not have any proposal to impose a ''user fee''.

The Minister pointed out that an additional cess of 1 per cent on Central taxes was being levied with effect from the financial year 2007-08 to fund Secondary Education and Higher Education and for the expansion of capacity of the existing institutions.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has constituted a Committee to formulate regulations for admission and fee structure for self-financing, private, professional institutes, including deemed to be universities, and also for self-financing and aided courses in aided Universities/Colleges, she said.

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