Dehradun: The ambiguous act on the part of the Uttarakhand Assembly to give a free hand to private medical colleges and universities on the fee structure for undergraduate and post-graduate courses, saw a backlash in the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences deciding to hike its fee for its MD (doctor of medicine) courses by more than 300%. This hike came days after a similar one by the Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical & Health Sciences, which had also hiked its fee by 300%. However, this fee has met with intense opposition from parents and students alike.
The Himalayan Medical College’s hike calls for Rs 30 lakh in fee from the students of courses such as MS (radio diagnosis)and MD (orthopaedics) .
The crises deepened further on Wednesday, when the college refused to reverse its decision, despite the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Uttarakhand Medical Education University (HNBUMEU) asking it to do so.
The Chairman and Vice-chancellor of Himalayan University speaking on the question of rolling back the fee hike stated that they were “simply following the due procedure”.
“We have adopted transparency in the admissions. Through an interim order, the high court has allowed the university to decide the fee. We have even uploaded the court orders on our website,” Dhasmana added to the HT.
He, however, said that the Himalayan Institute will “abide by the verdict” that the high court delivers on the various writ petitions that are sub judice.
Dhasmana said there are 16 private universities in the state running professional courses. “These universities are empowered to fix the fee for respective courses they offer,” he said, adding the state government’s fee fixation committee has no role to play there.
“Then why only those running medical courses are being targeted,” he queried.
“We are a deemed university and authorized as per rules to decide on tuition fee. Tell me which university is offering MD or MS course for Rs 7 lakh as prescribed by the state,” Dhasmana asked.
In an earlier story done by Medical Dialogues team, it was reported that a protest demonstration had been organized by Students of Sri Guru Ram Rai Medical college (SGRR) against the state government’s decision to allow private medical colleges to decide their own fee for MBBS and MD courses.
Students and parents with whom the act did not go down well, took out protests which then led to Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat announcing that his government would not let “Guru Ram Rai Institute charge tuition fee as per their wish”. “I made a mistake. If required we will make amendment in the act (that gives the right to the private universities) on fee hike,” he added while talking to a news channel.
The Chief Minister’s public statement saw the Guru Ram Rai Institute management go back on its decision.
Taking Cue from the previous incident, students enrolled in the MD courses at the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences have also submitted a complaint in writing to its principal accusing the institution of having violated fee norms.
The Secretary, Higher Education ’s intervention has also been sought by the protesting students of the institute.
Having faced student protests last week the state government’s fee committee which met during the week, recommended higher slabs of tuition fee for the students enrolled in MD courses from the new session. The committee will be meeting again on the issue next week adds Hindustan TImes.