Bengaluru: The fee structure at private medical colleges in Karnataka is going to shoot up from this academic year.
According to a recent media account, fees for Post-Graduate (PG) courses will hike by 15 per cent at private medical colleges.
This comes after the management of the self-financing medical colleges met the state government today to press for an increase in fees for both Under-Graduate (UG) and PG medical courses. It is reported that the two parties came to a consensus to raise the PG medical fee by 15% from the coming academic year.
The authorities are yet to take a decision on MBBS fee structure.
At the same time, Private Dental Colleges are divided on the issue of fee hike in their institutes owing to many dental seats going vacant in the past.
Strikingly, this decision by the private medical colleges’ managements comes despite the massive disclosure made by authorities on the issue of vacant seats. A few weeks ago, Medical Dialogues had reported about the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) data which revealed a whopping percentage of medical seats going vacant only primarily to the high fee of medical course.
As revealed in data by the KEA, sourced through the Department of Medical Education; from 2014 to 2018, at least 2,027 PG medical seats were left unfilled. 306 seats went vacant in 2018 only. This, however, was a much relief over the figures of 2017 when as many as 1,129 seats remained unfulfilled.
The main reasons cited for vacant seats included a hefty fee of the clinical courses making them unaffordable for many at private medical colleges. Hefty fees reportedly range from Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore for PG medical courses in the state. Another reason cited was the falling demand for many non-clinical specialisations.
However rising fee is a phenomena that is going to be present in the goverment medical colleges as well. Earlier, in December 2018; during a question hour, Medical Education D K Shivakumar had informed the Karnataka legislative assembly about the plan to ahead with the implementation of NRI quota in government colleges and exorbitant fee hike for medical courses.
The minister had stated that the government will implement this policy from the coming academic year 2019-2020. At present, NRI quota seat costs between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 45 lakh in private medical colleges.
In addition to this proposal, the government is also considering increasing increase MBBS course fee from the present Rs 17000 to Rs 50000 and that of PG courses from Rs 50000 to Rs 3 lakhs.
The students, medical colleges’ authorities as well as medical associations, however, are still not quite pleased with the fee hike and the idea of introducing NRI quota. While some find the former proposal a little acceptable, the latter is irrelevant to all.
Now, the private medical colleges came ahead with a proposal to hike medical courses fee at their institutes.
MR Jayaram, President of the Karnataka Professional Colleges Foundation informed the Hindu, “We have made a detailed presentation explaining all our expenditure to show why a fee hike is inevitable.” The management of these institutes met the officials from the Medical Education Department on February 23.
As mentioned in a recent report by Deccan Herald, the PG courses in the medical and dental colleges in Karnataka will witness a 15% hike in the fee in the upcoming academic year.
During the meeting, the state government and the management of private colleges came to a consensus on the fee hike. However, talks on undergraduate seats have not begun yet.
For the 2018-19 academic year, the annual tuition fees for MBBS course Rs 97,350 and Rs 6.83 lakh for Government quota and Institution quota seats in private medical institutions.
When the fees were increased last year, several student organisations opposed the move arguing that it was becoming increasingly difficult for students from middle-class families to pursue a medical career.
A member of Medical Students’ Struggle Committee said the committee would protest and intensify its struggle if the State government decided to increase fees yet again. The students are also protesting against the State government’s proposal to introduce Non-Resident Indian quota in government medical colleges.