Maharashtra hikes fees for postgraduate courses at 3 private medical colleges
Weeks after slashing the fees for post-graduation courses at four private medical colleges for the coming academic year, the state fee regulating authority (FRA), during its meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, raised it at three institutes, bringing it closer to or even more than the last year’s fees.
FRA decides the fees of all professional courses offered at private unaided institutes in the state. The fees for Dr Vasantrao Pawar Medical College in Nashik, MIMSR Medical College, Latur and Sanjeevan Medical College, Miraj have now been fixed at ₹8 lakh and ₹7 lakh an annum for PG courses and MBBS, respectively. The regulator changed its decision after realising that the amount calculated according to the existing norms was insufficient to purchase new equipment and build infrastructure.
Earlier this month, FRA ruled that the “excess” fees charged by colleges from students admitted under 35% management and 15% non-residential Indian (NRI) quota in the current academic year should be used to reduce the fees for 2019-20. The decision resulted in an unprecedented drop in the fees – almost half to one-third of the fees in 2018-19 – for PG courses at some of the institutes. There was little to no change in MBBS fees.
FRA follows an expense-based model to calculate the fees, where the overall expenditure of the college is equally divided by the number of students at the institute to arrive at the tuition fee. Colleges are also allowed to charge a development fee, which is capped at 10% of the tuition fee, to develop new infrastructure. “The Medical Council of India (MCI) requires colleges to equip themselves with expensive machines. They won’t be able to meet these norms if the fee is too low. Besides, the colleges are also required to pay a stipend of ₹6 lakh an annum to every PG student. We have to strike a balance between the interest of the college management as well as students,” said an FRA member.
The additional income generated owing to the minimum fees fixed by the regulator will have to be shown as a surplus in the balance sheet and will have to be spent on infrastructure development within the next three years, ruled the FRA. “We will keep monitoring the institutes,” said the member.
“It’s unlikely that the colleges will spend the money properly,” said Mahendra Chaudhari, parent of an MBBS student.