Panel junks private medical colleges’ plea seeking hefty MBBS fee, max 6 percent hike allowed

Thiruvananthapuram: In a major relief to the MBBS students in Kerala, the committee headed by Justice KK Dineshan has rejected the demands of the management of private medical colleges for a hefty fee and allowed a maximum of six percent hike over the previous year.

This six per cent fee hike rule shall be applicable for the academic year 2022-2023. Further, the panel has decided that the MBBS fees for the NRI quota seats will not be increased.

Currently, the fees range from Rs 6.61 lakh to Rs 7.65 lakh for around 85% of seats in private medical colleges. However, there will be a special fee of up to Rs 86,600. For the NRI quota seats, the colleges can charge around Rs 20 lakhs.

Therefore, the MBBS fee at Thrissur Jubille Medical College has been hiked by 5.76 per cent with Rs 734852 as tuition fee, Rs 63214 as the first-year special fee, Rs 17,296 as a special fee for the remaining years, and Rs 74878 as hostel fees. While the college had also demanded an increase in the special, hostel and NRI fees, the panel rejected the demand.

Also Read: Govt Orders Against MBBS Fee hike: Kerala Private Medical Colleges plan to move HC

As per the latest media report by Kerala Kaumudi, the fees for the rest of the colleges will be decided after considering the operational cost, audited income-expenditure figure, number of students and central and state price index.

Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that NMC, the apex medical education regulatory body had clarified recently that the fees of 50 per cent seats in the private medical colleges would be at par with government medical colleges of that particular State/UT.

“After extensive consultations, it has been decided that the fee of the 50 per cent seats in the private medical colleges and deemed universities should be at par with the fee in the government medical colleges of that particular State and UT. The benefit of this fee structure would be first made available to those candidates who have availed government quota seats, but are limited to the extent of 50 per cent of the total sanctioned strength of the respective medical college/deemed university,” NMC had mentioned in the notification.

However, the private medical colleges had approached the High Court and the bench had held that the NMC order directing the private institutes charging fees at par with the government medical colleges for the 50% of the total seats would not be applicable in Kerala.

The High Court bench comprising of Justice Devan Ramachandran expressed such an opinion as it took note of the fact that after the implementation of Kerala Medical Education (Regulation and Control of Admission to Private Medical Educational Institutions) Act, 2017 there is no longer ‘Government Quota’ and ‘Management Quota’ seats in the Private medical institutes.

Apart from this, the bench observed that after the 2017 Act, an Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC) fixes the fees in the private medical institutes of the State and as far as students in the private Medical Colleges are concerned; all the students to such institutions are allotted by the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations of the Government of Kerala, through a common Entrance Examination and Counselling process.

Therefore, the bench opined that the NMC Fee Order that was intended for a Pan-India operation, may be valid for States or Union Territories where quotas for “Government” and the “Management” are still in vogue

The High Court bench also expressed its concern over the cross-subsidisation of seats and burdening one section of students at the cost of another and opined that implementing the NMC fee order in Kerala would be highly iniquitous.

Meanwhile, the Christian Professional College Management Federation had approached the HC bench praying for speeding up the process to determine fees in four medical colleges run by the federation. Following this, on April 11, the Court had directed the fee determination committee to fix the fee within two weeks.

While the managements of the private medical colleges have requested for a fee up to Rs 11 lakhs in 2023-2024, the panel run by Justice Dinesan has decided that they will not increase the fee in such a way that it will be harmful for the students. On the other hand, the private medical college managements have contended that they will be unable to run the college if they charge a lesser fee.

Also Read: NMC Fee Order for 50 percent Private Medical College Seats not Applicable in Kerala: High Court

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