Mumbai: The apex judicial ruling which makes it mandatory for private and deemed universities to hand over 50% of their seats to the state seems to have resulted in PG fee shoots of an unimagined kind, for management quota seats.
The extreme example comes in the form of Kashibai Navale Medical College, Pune which is charging an astronomical Rs. 96.6 lakh per year from its management students, all payable in cheque.
This medical college has been able to fill up a mere 10 of its 31 management quota seats. Medical Education experts have called it one of the highest tuition fee charged across the country and maybe even the world. Last year, the uniform cost of all seats at the institution was Rs 7.9 lakh, including the NRI quota. This year the college sought permission from the Fee Regulation Authority to allow it to charge Rs 15 lakh under the merit, or state, quota. A decision on the same has yet to be conveyed to the college.
The rising tuition fee for the management and NRI quota in private and deemed universities due to the giving away of 50% seats to the state, in order to subsidize education for the merit based. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to call this phenomena of fee hike a cross subsidy.
The steep difference in the fee of state quota seats is evident in charges in Terna Medical College reported to be Rs. 5.8 Lakh and those at MGM Medical College Rs.26.7 lakh. The difference in fee slab is arbitrary. The annual tuition fee for management quota in different colleges varies from Rs 17.4 lakh and Rs 96.6 lakh.
On Tuesday, at the close of the Ist admission round , colleges were looking for candidates to fill up the management quota seats. KJ Somaiya Medical college had filled up three of the 6 seats remaining.
“This is not a great picture for us,” said a college principal. “We know our fees are beyond the reach of most and I am working with the management to re-align our tuition fees to make them realistic. This kind of money is difficult to transact when there is nothing hidden.”
Fee Regulation Authority officials who had asked colleges for fee proposals said that they had merely set the state quota fee. “The fees declared under the institution and NRI quotas were self-disclosed by the colleges,” said an official.
“What is difficult to understand is the type of accounting followed by these institutes. This is jeopardizing the concept of equality in education,” said Dr Vivek Korade, President, Forum Against Commercialization of Education. He referred to colleges with higher fee for management quota in comparison to NRI seats.that had higher fees for the management quota as compared to NRI seats.
A Directorate of Medical Education and Research Official said that colleges till last year charged less as a large part of the fee taken was in cash. “From now on, these would all get reflected in the books. In the next year’s fee-setting process, all this would reflect a large income, and hence fees would drop,” the official told TOI.