Medical aspirants forfeit seats as colleges demand high fee
Medical education director general said there was little he could do in light of a government norm specifying that students must forfeit their deposits if they don’t accept seats allotted to them.
Several students who bagged MBBS seats after passing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) received a shock when the private colleges they were allotted sought astronomical fees to let them in.
They finally left in disappointment, forsaking their dreams as well as a large sum deposited with the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET).
Each of the candidates had earlier deposited ₹2 lakh as security deposit with the DMET against allotment of seats. However, when they approached the colleges concerned, they were asked for fees that made the amount fixed by the government seem like a pittance. Unable to afford it, they forfeited the seats, only to realise they would be losing their security deposit of ₹2 lakh too.
Medical education director general Dr KK Gupta said though he was aware of the issue, there was little he could do in light of a government norm specifying that students must forfeit their deposits if they don’t accept seats allotted to them.
He, instead, advised the candidates to lodge FIRs against the colleges.
“At the time of counselling, the officials showed me a circular stating that the college fee was ₹8.5 lakh per annum,” said Mahesh Kumar Sharma, whose son was allotted a seat at a medical college during the first round of counselling.
He was even told that the ₹2 lakh security deposit would be adjusted in the college fee at a later stage. The shock came when the college reportedly asked him to pay ₹21.5 lakh as just first-year fee. Apparently, ₹8.5 lakh was the basic fee. Sharma was also required to pay an annual hostel fee of ₹4 lakh and a non-refundable security deposit of ₹9 lakh.
“I couldn’t afford it. I complained to the UP director of medical education but he chose to forfeit my ₹2 lakh deposit instead of taking action against the college,” said Sharma.
HT spoke to more than half a dozen parents who levelled similar charges against the colleges.
A Directorate of Medical Education official said the colleges took advantage of a loophole to fix higher fees. “While the fee committee fixed the basic annual fee for each college in 2017-18, it allowed them to charge the hostel fee and security deposit at their discretion. This allowed the colleges to have an upper hand in final fee fixation,” he said, adding that all but a handful of colleges misused the provision.
“Even the most inferior college could be seen demanding ₹17 lakh as the first-year fee,” the official said.
Gupta said the directorate doesn’t exert much control over the colleges.