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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Maharashtra fee body will not look at nursing diploma courses

mumbai Updated: Sep 07, 2019 00:08 IST

The state Fee Regulating Authority (FRA) recently wrote to the director of state medical education, clarifying that diploma courses in nursing and midwifery will no longer come under its jurisdiction.

This means that the fee structure of courses such as Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery and General Nursing and Midwifery will no longer be decided by the FRA. Fees of diploma courses in polytechnic as well as pharmacy, too, will no longer be fixed by FRA, said FRA officials.

“Last year, we told the Maharashtra government that as these nursing courses were not professional courses, the FRA will not fix their fees. But on October 31, the state government declared all diploma in nursing courses as professional courses,” said an official from FRA.

However, this year the FRA’s contention is to do with the fact that these courses are not affiliated to any particular university. “The FRA Act clearly states that for FRA to fix the fees, a course or the institute needs to be affiliated with a university, which is not the case with any of these diploma courses. Therefore, going by the rule book, we have no authority to decide the fees for such courses,” added the official.

While the fee regulating authority has already passed a resolution in this matter, representatives of nursing institutes are not happy with the decision.

“These are diploma courses so they are affiliated to the Maharashtra State Board of Nursing and Paramedical Education (MSBNPE). Last year, the state government declared diploma in nursing courses as professional courses. How can the FRA still say that they cannot fix fees because of non-affiliation to a university?” said Dr Ramling Mali, principal of Institute of Nursing Education as well as former president of the Maharashtra Nursing Council.

The principal of another nursing college in Pune called the move unfair, especially towards students from reserved categories applying for nursing courses.

“Soon, the government will introduce a new rule and call these diploma colleges defunct. Where will these students go then? The FRA should take this issue up with the state government and demand for a change in their rules to include diploma courses as well,” said the principal.

First Published: Sep 07, 2019 00:08 IST