₹2-10 lakh fee hike at deemed medical colleges sparks worry for PG aspirants
A course in MD Radio-diagnosis or dermatology will cost ₹35 lakh per annum at MGM Medical College in Navi Mumbai this year, as opposed to ₹25 lakh last year. Similarly, the same seat at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Wardha will cost a student ₹42.6 lakh as opposed to ₹38.95 lakh in 2021-22 academic year
Mumbai: Postgraduate medical seats have become dearer this year with several deemed-to-be medical institutes hiking their annual fees by ₹2-5 lakh per annum for various MD and MS courses. In some cases, deemed-to-be medical institutes have increased their annual fees for certain courses by as much as ₹10 lakh per annum.
A course in MD Radio-diagnosis or dermatology will cost ₹35 lakh per annum at MGM Medical College in Navi Mumbai this year, as opposed to ₹25 lakh last year. Similarly, the same seat at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Wardha will cost a student ₹42.6 lakh as opposed to ₹38.95 lakh in 2021-22 academic year.
At Pune’s Bhartiya Vidyapeeth, a seat in MD Radio-diagnosis will cost ₹36.75 lakh per annum for the new batch, as opposed to ₹35 lakh last year. A handful of colleges, including D Y Patil Medical College in Navi Mumbai have maintained their fee structure from last year but an MD in Orthopaedics will cost ₹60 lakh per annum and an MS in General Surgery will cost ₹40 lakh per annum. DY Patil Medical College in Pune, however, has hiked their fees across courses by ₹1.5-2.5 lakh per annum this year.
“The hike in fees across deemed medical institutes in the state shows how our only choice is to get admission in government-run colleges (GMC), or a handful of private medical colleges. It is impossible to afford ₹1.5 crore to pursue education in interested fields in some of the deemed institutes in the state,” said Dr Renu Parikh, a PG medical aspirant. Since the top rankers always manage to bag seats in GMCs, several PG medical aspirants feel they end up changing their course preference due to the high fees in private as well as deemed colleges.
In February this year, the National Medical Commission (NMC) issued guidelines for private and deemed medical colleges to offer 50% of their seats to students at fees charged by government medical colleges, and that it will be implemented from academic year 2022-23 itself.
Most colleges were unhappy with this move, prompting some deemed medical institutes in Tamil Nadu to approach the Madras high court (HC) challenging a fee fixation memorandum. The Madras HC ordered NMC to reconsider this fee fixation memorandum in the light of negative problems raised by deemed-to-be as well as private medical colleges owing to collection of low fees from 50% students. Several medical colleges across the country are now hoping for a stay from the Supreme Court on the NMC fee memorandum.
“Government colleges can offer medical seats at low fees because the state takes over all their costs, but for private and deemed colleges, there is no such option. If the government forces us to offer 50% seats at fees of government medical colleges, we will run into losses, unless we hike fees for the remaining seats,” said the dean of a private medical college in Nashik.
For years now, parents have been demanding for strict regulation of fees, especially in deemed colleges. “On one hand, the government wants to regulate fees and is announcing a fee diktat on 50% seats in private and deemed institutes while they are calling for regulation on the remaining 50% seats. How is such exorbitant increase in fees justified then? It also looks like the Fee Regulating Authority (FRA) is not doing its job well on regulating fees of these medical colleges where the overall fees has increased nearly 300% in the last six years,” said Sudha Shenoy, mother of a PG medical aspirant, and an activist fighting for the rights of medical students.