Dehradun: Raising their voice against the decision of the management to increase the fees suddenly and put the MBBS internship on hold, the final year medicos of Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical and Health Sciences, Dehradun have initiated a protest since Monday.
The authorities have increased the fees from Rs 5 lakhs per annum to Rs 13 lakhs per annum, which is around 150 percent fee hike, one of the protesting students of 2018 batch informed Medical Dialogues, adding that they are also going to approach the High Court and file a plea in this regard.
While the State quota students have been asked to submit Rs 26 lakhs, the students of management quota have been asked to pay Rs 37 lakh fees. The college management also has put the internships of the final year students on hold clarifying that the internship will commence only when the students will clear the due.
Meanwhile, some people allegedly assaulted the MBBS students who were protesting peacefully outside Shri Mahant Indresh Hospital. Taking note of the matter, DGP Ashok Kumar has already instructed the Senior Superintendent of Police Dehradun Dalip Singh Kunwar for registering a case against those people, adds Jagran.
Located in Dehradun, SGRR Medical college is run by private management and offers MBBS and PG medical courses. While earlier it was affiliated to Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Uttarakhand Medical Education University, since 2017 it has become a constituent college of Shri Guru Ram Rai University. The medical college is associated with Shri mahant Indresh hospital (SMIH) located in Patelnagar
Medical Dialogues had reported back in 2018 that the State Government of Uttarakhand had approved a proposal of allowing the private universities in the State to decide their fee structures on their own. Accordingly, the private medical colleges had increased their fees and the the fee at SGRR medical college, which was nearly Rs 5 lakh was increased to Rs 19 lakh per year.
Back then also the students of the private medical colleges in the state, including those of SGRR Medical College had staged dharnas demanding a rollback. Following this, the state government had asked the private medical colleges in Uttarakhand to rollback the manifold hike in their annual fees.
Back then, the Uttarakhand committee for fixation of fee structure of private educational institutions had imposed a fine of Rs 15 crore upon SGRR medical college for charging a fee in accordance to their whims from the students of the 2016-2017 batch. At that time, the college had raised a voice of concern over the Fee Fixation Committee’s old fees structure, claiming that it needed revision. However, the students and parents had moved to the court and the matter became sub judice.
Recently, the college administration has once again increased the MBBS fees from Rs 5 lakhs per annum to Rs 13 lakhs per annum retrospectively. The students have alleged that the fees have been hiked without any prior information after the students completed the MBBS course and passed the exam. Not only this, directing the students to clear the dues, the college authorities have also put the commencement of MBBS internship on hold.
Jagran adds that the college administration have clarified that the fee related matter was pending before the Supreme Court and the fees had been increased only after the decision from the court. The daily further adds that the students have been asked to deposit the money in six installments allowing them to give post dated cheques.
Protesting against this, the final year MBBS students of the medical college have been on strike since Monday demanding to commence the MBBS internship immediately. The students were seen protesting peacefully, holding placards that said “Students not ATM”, “Internship is our right” etc.
However, one of the students informed Medical Dialogues, “We were asked to vacate our hostels in response to a peaceful protest. Girls are not allowed to enter hostels. We have nowhere to go.”
“We had no prior information regarding this. When we took admission, we had no idea that we would have to pay so much as fees. Now overnight they have increased the fees by around 150 percent and applied the same retrospectively,” the student further added.
The students are now on the strike with the only demand to commence their internship on immediate basis. Referring to the problems they might face due to delayed internship, a protesting student from the medical college added, “Anyone who is from the medical fraternity knows what kind of problems the students might face if the internship is not commenced on time. Next year, we will not be eligible to appear for the PG entrance exam because our internship will get extended. Our entire academic year will be lost.”
The students also referred to the recent incident of assault that they had to face while protesting peacefully. “Yesterday, some people came on ambulance, threatened us. They had weapons and they cut our tents, physically assaulted us. This is nothing but physical harassment on top of the mental harassment that we are facing due to this sudden fee hike,” said a student.
“How the students coming from middle class backgrounds will arrange so much money within such a short notice? Already our parents have taken a loan and we have nothing left. And now they are also putting a hold on our education,” she mentioned, adding that after collecting lakhs of rupees as fees, the college only pays the MBBS interns Rs 4000 as stipend.
The college authorities have allegedly asked the students to vacate the hostels, locked the washrooms and barred them from protesting inside the campus.
When asked about their next step, the protesting students clarified that they will not withdraw their protest if the authorities do not commence the MBBS internship.
“We have asked other associations for their support and we are also going to file a plea before the Court,” said a final-year protesting student on the condition of anonymity. “We only want financial and academic things remain separate and we want our internships without any terms and conditions. They are continuously trying to make us call off the strike. This is not what the future doctors deserve,” she added.
As per the latest media report by Jagran, DGP Ashok Kumar has instructed the Senior Superintendent of Police Dehradun Dalip Singh Kunwar to register a case against the people who assaulted the protesting students. After receiving the news regarding the assault on the students, the City Magistrate Kusham Chauhan reached the spot along with the police and talked to the agitating students.
Meanwhile, the management of the college sent a letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police regarding the matter concerning the fee hike. Chief Public Relations Officer of the college, Bhupendra Raturi has informed that the fees have been revised by the Admission and the Fee Regulatory Committee and consequently the students have been asked to deposit the fees. It has further been claimed by the college authorities that most of the students are ready to pay the prescribed fee.