Puducherry: The Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Research Institute (IGMCRI) management’s decision to hike fee for the academic year 2018-19 has created an agitation among students and parents alike.
Perunthalaivar Kamaraj Medical College Society which looks after the affairs of the government college has raised the MBBS annual fees to Rs 1.37 lakh from the present Rs 75,000 for the first year; Rs 52,500 to Rs 1,00,500 for the second year; and Rs 35,000 to Rs 67,000 for the third and fourth year. Meanwhile, the additional batches fee has been raised from Rs 17,500 to Rs 33,500.
The committee constituted by the society revised the fee structure and convened in the presence of Director, V Govindaraj, Dean, G Sivagnanam, Professor and Head (anatomy) S Aruna, Administration Officer, R Anbajagane, Finance Officer, R Karthikeyan, Assistant Finance Officer, P Rajendiran and Accounts Superintendent, K Vijayakumar. The members present unanimously supported revision of fee structure ‘to meet out the cost under present circumstances’.
The committee took a decision to collect academic fees amounting to Rs. 10,000, for every semester, from the academic year 2018-19; and raise all other fees under different categories. The college had not charged academic fee since its establishment.
According to the committee meeting minutes the hiked fee will be used for raining students, funding research projects, holding of medical education programs, quiz, and conferences and for expenses related to university affiliation and Medical Council of India’s assessments reports TOI. Agitated students teachers and parents have come down heavily on the hike move by the government.
They compared the fee hike with the prevailing charges at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, saying that Jipmer which extended excellent infrastructural facilities, charged only Rs 15,000 as annual fees for its MBBS programs. According to the government colleges in the neighboring Tamil Nadu also charged less than Rs 30,000 per annum.
According to them, despite, the IGMCRI lacking basic academic and infrastructural facilities, fee was being hiked. They were of the opinion that the government needed to scrutinize the facilities available in the institution, under the society, and work out a face of betterment. It felt, contrary to working towards improvement of the place, the authorities had decided to hike the institutional fee structure.
“Fifty-five percent arbitrary fee hike has been thrust on students by an internal committee without proper cost accounting to compensate deficits in an institution which is allotted Rs 300 crore budget in 5 years,” said an anonymous parent.