BENGALURU: The state will get 400 new private pre-university colleges from the coming academic year. The Department of Pre-University Education (PUE) has received as many as 444 applications seeking permission to set up new unaided private PU colleges across the state. According to officials, 90 per cent of the applications will be cleared by the government. Speaking to Express, a senior official from the affiliation section said, “Majority of them will have necessary infrastructure and the applications will be cleared. So, we can expect at least 400 new private PU colleges in the coming academic year.” However, no new government colleges will be opened as the government stopped giving permission to new colleges since 2004. “In view of the decreasing strength in government colleges and objection from the Finance department, the government stopped giving permission for setting up new colleges,” said an official. Sometimes, elected representatives try to put pressure on the department asking it to set up a government college in their constituency. “It was too much pressure to handle and we communicated this to the government. Since then, we are not entertaining any such applications at the department level. If they want, they should approach the government directly. If the government feels the need for a college, then it will forward the application to us,” the official added. In 2016, the department received 309 applications for setting up new PU colleges of which the government approved for 208 colleges.