Chennai: The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test( NEET) result announcement by the CBSE on August 17 , has had private medical colleges and deemed universities get into the fee hike move. The annual tuition fee of one of the private medical colleges, SRM has been hiked to Rs. 20 lac per year. Earlier on, the same college charged Rs.9 lac in 2014 and 10 lac in 2015 for tuition fee. The average cost of a medical course in one of the premier institutions of the state is Rs. 1.85 crore; Rs. 1 crore as tuition fee and Rs. 85 lac as capitation amount reports TOI .
Merit is to be the sole criteria of admission to private medical colleges and deemed universities. Students may have the independence of applying to various medical colleges independently, but admissions are to be solely granted on the basis of merit. The fact remains that some private colleges have made it amply clear to parents that a capitation fee ranging between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 85 lakh will be charged, despite the merit criterion, adds the newspaper.
“I argued it should be based on merit, but the college administration says, ‘it wasn’t specified in the apex court order,” said a parent, seeking admission for his daughter at three private universities.
Parents are facing the trials of expense and in affordability of costs. The SRM college that has raised its annual tuition cost to Rs. 21 lac is also demanding- 2 lac as development fee, and Rs one lacs as curriculum charge.
Tuition fee in other colleges ranges between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 18 lakh. Sri Ramachandra University and Chettinad Academy of Research and Education are charging Rs 15 lakh. Medical students are also having to pay fee for library, laboratory, mess and hostel, which everywhere adds up to Rs 1 lakh a year.
“I have to pay at least Rs 1 crore as tuition fee. The total cost is likely to go up by another Rs 25 lakh,” said Selva Ganapathy, parent of a 90 percentile in NEET.
His son missed a government medical college by just 0.25 cut-off points. “The tuition fee there would have been Rs 11,500 a year but he didn’t make it because of 69% caste-based reservation followed in Tamil Nadu. So, he joined an engineering college,” he said. It’s truly a mockery of merit,” he added. Last Thursday, the family decided that he should continue doing his engineering.
Doctor’s Association for Social Equality, General Secretary, Dr G R Ravindranath said that most doctors start with a salary between Rs 45,000 or Rs 50,000 a month. “Five years later it may be higher than this, but by then doctors will want to do post-graduate courses which may cost then them another few crores of rupees,” he added.
He suggested that the Centre should conduct single window counselling for admissions, to do away with capitation fees.
While state health department officials said, private colleges had autonomy in fixing fees. Tuition fee alone in the last three years has increased three times,. in some of the private medical colleges, Managements justified escalations as “Overheads being high”. Adding, teacher’s had to be paid higher salaries and there was infra structure to be maintained.