Pvt colleges say SC verdict lets them charge 5 times the fees under merit quota for these seats
MUMBAI: Medical students and their parents are shocked to see the fees medical and dental colleges in the state are charging for undergraduate courses under the institutional quota.
The details of fees structures of private colleges, released by Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) recently, show that colleges charge up to Rs 38.75 lakh as tuition fees from students admitted under this quota, which comprises 15% of all seats. These seats are reserved for students who opt for it and have institutional preference in admissions. The tuition fees for those admitted under the merit quota is lower and ranges from Rs 1 lakh to 14 lakh. This doesn’t include charges for admission, hostel, gymkhana and library.
While there has been a rise of up to Rs75,000 in fees for seats under the merit quota, there is no reference available for institutional quota fees. This is the first time private medical and dental colleges had to disclose their fees for institutional quota after a notification from Medical Council of India (MCI) asked DMER to include these seats in the centralised admission process (CAP).
“Last year, we had requested the state Fee Regulating Authority (FRA) to reduce the fees private medical colleges charge. But we were surprised to find out that the fees has been increased,” said Sudha Shenoy, parent of a medical aspirant.
Some colleges said they are still waiting for FRA’s approval on their fee structure and the fees displayed on DMER’s website is merely a “proposed” fee structure, which may be altered according to FRA’s directions.
Almost all colleges have specified different fees for merit and institutional quotas. “For institutional quota, a Supreme Court verdict allows us to charge five times the fees for merit quota,” said Dr SB Mantri, dean, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Latur.
However, the FRA said they do approve a uniform fee structure for students of all categories. “There shouldn’t be different fee structures for different students. If a college asks a student to pay more than FRA-approved fees, they should approach us,’ said a member of the FRA.
A similar problem had arisen when colleges had disclosed their fees for PG courses. The DMER had then consulted the FRA. “We had told the DMER that the fee structure should be uniform," said the FRA member. Pravin Shingare, director at DMER, said colleges are within their rights to charge more for institutional quota seats. “In light of the Supreme Court’s verdict, the colleges can charge more for institutional quota seats. The FRA should reveal its position in writing,” said Shingare.