Panel allows fee hikes at medical, dental institutes

One institute has decreased their fee by Rs 10,000 this year compared to last year.

One institute has decreased their fee by Rs 10,000 this year compared to last year.(HT File/Representational Image )

The state Fee Regulating Authority (FRA) has announced the fees of private medical and dental institutes in the state for the academic year 2018-19 with most being allowed a marginal hike anywhere between Rs10,000 and Rs50,000 per year. One institute has decreased their fee by Rs 10,000 this year compared to last year.

Until last year, various colleges were made to slash their fees by 10-50% to bring uniformity to the fee structure across colleges.

Vedanta Institute of Medical College (VIMC), Palghar, has been in a fee row with the FRA for more than a year. The institute that started its first batch in 2017-18 is the first in the state to register as a private limited company under the Companies Act, 2013 (a for-profit institute). Earlier this year, FRA asked the institute to reduce their annual fees from Rs14 lakh to Rs6 lakh.

“The FRA has taken some years to bring uniformity in the fee structure of all private medical and dental colleges, and has managed to do so despite resistance from private institutes. Many parents were worried that this year the institutes might get away with a hike, but a marginal fee hike will definitely leave students and parents happy,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).

Established in 2004, the FRA or Shulka Niyamat Samiti (earlier known as Shikshan Shulka Samiti), is a quasi-judicial body responsible for regulating fees of unaided private professional colleges in the state. Every year the colleges submit proposals for changing their fees structure to the authority.

The FRA considers a number of indicators such as nature of the course, number of students, teaching and non-teaching staff, infrastructure and other facilities at the college before finalising the fees. If proposals are eligible, the colleges are allowed a 10% fee hike every year.

Chiplun’s B K Walawalkar Rural Medical College has hiked their fees by almost Rs65,000 per year whereas ACPM Medical College, Dhule, and Nashik’s SMBT Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre have been allowed to hike their annual fees by Rs 50,000.

Nerul’s Terna Medical College and Hospital has hiked fees by Rs20,000 whereas Vasantrao Pawar Medical College in Nashik and Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Memorial Medical College in Amravati has hiked their fees by Rs10,000 each.

“Parents who have been checking with private institutes for admissions for the next academic year have been told a very exaggerated figure, which had left us worried. But the FRA release has been good news,” said Sudha Shenoy, a parent. She added that the FRA still has to announce the fees of various other institutes, including KJ Somaiya Medical College in Mumbai and Kashibai Navale Medical College in Pune. “Some institutes have not yet declared their fees structure, which will be announced soon hopefully,” she added.

Most private medical institutes are planning to send their proposals for a second review to the FRA. “It is impossible to run an MBBS course with so many restrictions. We will definitely ask for a review and we are ready to take this matter to court as well,” said a spokesperson for B K Walawalkar Rural Medical College, Chiplun.

Similarly, management of VIMC is also waiting to hear from FRA. “We have filed review appeal with FRA against their order and are waiting for an outcome of same soon,” said Ganesh Kesari, dean of the institute.


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