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Fee fiasco intensifies, private medical college refuses to roll back 300% hike

The Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Uttarakhand Medical Education University Wednesday asked the Himalayan Institute to roll back the hiked fee as the fee fixation issue was sub-judice

dehradun Updated: Apr 11, 2018 22:12 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Anupam Trivedi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
MD Course,Fee hike,fee roll back
Th fee hike has sparked outrage with parents and students taking to streets against the move. (HT Photi)

The ongoing crisis over the hike in fee structure for medical courses deepened further Wednesday with a private college refusing to rollback the decision despite the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Uttarakhand Medical Education University (HNBUMEU) asking it to.

The Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences has hiked the fee for the MD (doctor of medicine) courses by more than 300 per cent, sparking an outrage among the students and the parents.

The HNBUMEU, through a letter, Wednesday asked the Himalayan Institute to roll back the hiked fee as the fee fixation issue was sub-judice. The HNBUMEU has jurisdiction over all the medical, dental, nursing and para-medical colleges in the hill state. The Himalayan Institute is affiliated to it.

In the letter to the Himalayan Institute, which is an arm of Swami Ram Himalayan University, the government university said that it has received several complaints.

“We have received complaints from several students that those seeking admission in the post graduate courses are being asked to submit an affidavit that they are okay with the revised fee,” wrote Vijay Juyal, registrar HNBUMEU. Juyal also asked institute to roll back the fee hike decision till the time the Uttarakhand high court gives a verdict.

While the state government’s fee fixation committee had decided upon Rs738,835 as the fee for the MD courses, the Himalayan Institute is asking for Rs 30 lakh per annum for the two year course.

The move by Himalayan Institute comes days after Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical & Health Sciences, also a private medical institute, decided to hike the fee by upto 300 percent. However, it latter rolled back the decision after chief minister Trivendra Rawat intervened.

Meanwhile, chairman and vice-chancellor of Himalayan University said there was no question of rolling back the fee hike as they were “simply following the due procedure”.

“We have adopted transparency in the admissions. Through an interim order, the high court has allowed the university to decide the fee. We have even uploaded the court orders on our website,” Dhasmana said.

He, however, said that the Himalayan Institute will “abide by the verdict” that the high court delivers on the various writ petitions that are sub judice.

Dhasmana said there are 16 private universities in the state running professional courses. “These universities are empowered to fix the fee for respective courses they offer,” he said, adding the state government’s fee fixation committee has no role to play there.

“Then why only those running medical courses are being targeted,” he asked.

A controversy had erupted after the Uttarakhand assembly cleared a bill giving free hand to the private medical colleges and universities on the fee structure for undergraduate and post-graduate courses. When Guru Ram Rai Institute hiked its MBBS tuition fee from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 19.76 lakh for the first year, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat justified it by saying that the government does not provide any monetary help in setting up a private medical college, which often requires capital to the tune of Rs 700 crore.

As students and parents took to the streets, Rawat announced that his government will not let “Guru Ram Rai Institute charge tuition fee as per their wish”. “I made a mistake,” he told media. After CM’s intervention, the Guru Ram Rai Institute management had rolled back the decision.

After facing backlash, the state government’s fee fixation committee headed by additional chief secretary Ranbir Singh met last week and recommended higher slabs of tuition fee for the students enrolled in MD courses from the new session. The committee will again meet next week.

First Published: Apr 11, 2018 22:12 IST