MBBS fee Overcharging: Karnataka Medical Colleges to refund fee
Bengaluru: Two medical colleges in Bengaluru have been directed by the Admission Overseeing Committee (AOC) to refund the excess fees that they had collected from the MBBS students. Earlier the institutes were issued notices in this regard by the authority.
The stern action by the committee came in view of all the complaints lodged by around 58 MBBS students stating that the East Point College of Medical Sciences, as well as Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital, were charging an excess fee over the stipulated amount declared by the government and the Fee Regulatory Committee on the MBBS course.
In its recent order, the AOC has ordered these medical colleges to refund the excess fees they had collected, along with 6% interest. In addition, the committee also stated that if the medical colleges' managements somehow fail to do so, the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), to which the medical colleges are affiliated with; should make necessary recommendations to the Medical Council of India (MCI) for withdrawal of recognition and affiliation.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the allegations made by the MBBS students. Second-year MBBS students admitted at East Point College of Medical Sciences under the institutional quota were asked to pay Rs 80,900, while those in the government quota had to pay Rs 91,800. This is in addition to the Rs 77,500 and Rs 6.33 lakh tuition fees collected from students in the government quota and institution quota seats, respectively.
These students also alleged that they had paid extra fees last year, but the facilities offered by the medical college were of poor quality.
The MBBS students of the Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital had also approached the committee alleging that they were asked to pay an additional Rs 1.48 lakh to the medical institute. "Some of the sub-heads under which the management has reportedly sought money include a cricket ground, gym, air conditioners, and a swimming pool fund," the students alleged.
It was also alleged by an MBBS student that one of the medical colleges allegedly threatened to withhold attendance of students who failed to pay the "excess fees". The medico added that the management said, "Students would be marked absent if they failed to do so."
Consequently, the AOC issued a notice to the management of both the medical colleges ordering them to refund the excess fees. It was directed that if the medical colleges' failed to do so, they will be issued a show cause notice.
Now, a direction in this regard has been issued by AOC in addition with a warning of de-recognition as the medical colleges did not relent despite conducting several hearings on the issue.
The Committee constituted by the state government and headed by Justice B Manohar, passed the order recommending the state government as well as RGUHS to issue directives to the medical colleges to pay the refund within 30 days, along with interest, failing which, action will be initiated, reports TNIE.
Talking to the media, Justice Manohar stated, "While the students paid excess fees when they were in the first year without questioning the management, they have now realised that it is illegal and have complained to us…We have received about 80 complaints about medical colleges charging excess fees. In two cases, we have issued orders recommending the state and the university to take action."
Last week, the committee wrote to the government recommending initiating action against these colleges, reports The Hindu.
When contacted, Rajarajeshwari Medical College and Hospital, Dr Navin S, Principal, told TNIE, "The students have approached the High Court, and as the matter is sub-judice, we cannot comment." The students moved HC before the committee's decision was announced.
Dr Prabhakar, Principal, East Point Medical College, said, "We have received the order and are following whatever has been ordered by the committee."
However, a source informed The Hindu, "Students and parents are eagerly waiting for the colleges to waive off the excess fees, but the management is not entertaining their concerns."