Mumbai: The state government’s act of Vetoing a Fee Regulating Authority (FRA) ruling and allowing the Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences, Palghar a free hand to determine and charge tuition fee has led to the student’s of the college facing a major crisis.
The hike in fee, the students are complaining is likely to make it difficult for their parents to meet up with expenses, as they had set aside budgets for a fee, before having their wards admitted to the college.
The students and their wards are planning to communicate the thought to the FRA and request the body to allow the college a free hand for students who join from this year, and the students who are already studying there be charged according to the regulating authority’s fee structure.
“We will ask FRA to direct the college to charge the last batch fees that were set last year,” said a last year’s admitted student ’s parent to the TOI. Some parents plan to take judicial action against the state government’s decision.
Vedantaa which was set up as a college under a private ltd company last year in Maharashtra is unlike all other private colleges and hospitals in the state that are set up as trusts. On April 10, the state issued a resolution that Vedantaa would be out of the FRA’s ambit as the institute is a private limited.
According to the state authorities, this decision was taken because of the Centre inviting private participation with commercial interests to set up medical colleges.
The state has also said no to fee reimbursements to reserved category as the entire exercise of reimbursements for 5 years would cost the government a good Rs. 40 to 50 crore, stated an official.
Last year parents had also seen parents drag the college to FRA over the high fee, that was not in tune with that set by the Regulating Authority. The FRA had then told the college it would have to abide by its rules.
The minutes of the meeting of the fee body read, “The institution in blatant disregard for the ad hoc fees fixed by FRA, which is Rs 6 lakh per student, has been collecting Rs 14 lakh”. It further stated added that the NRI fee set by the college at Rs. 30 lakh was also not acceptable.
In an earlier story done by the medical Dialogues team, it was reported that the state by relieving Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences, Palghar from the control of the FRA had set a precedent of sorts for unregulated fees in professional medical colleges. This sets the institute free from the control of the Fee Regulating Authority(FRA) and gave it complete authority to fix fees of all nature, be it tuition or otherwise.
A written communiqué to the FRA by the state authorities had clarified that the move was in line with the Centre’s efforts to encourage private participation by companies with commercial interests to set up medical colleges.
“As this is a first-of-its-kind college which is registered as a private limited company established to make a profit, the MCI has allowed such institutes to charge fees like deemed universities,” Medical Education, Secretary, Sanjay Deshmukh had informed.