Kochi: Postgraduate dental students have decided to settle the non- payment of stipend grouse with private self-financing dental colleges in the Kerala High Court. Approximately, 150 students have filed a petition against self-financing colleges, alleging that unlike government dental institutions which pay Rs. 43,000 as a stipend, self-financing colleges have been getting away without paying a penny.
According to the petitioner’s counsel, TRS Kumar out of the 16 self-financing dental colleges conducting PG courses in Kerala, not one of them is paying a stipend to the students pursuing courses in them. The students have alleged that they work long hours (ten) in the casualty and 24 hours in the intensive care unit of the hospitals and are not provided the stipulated stipend.
The Dental Council of India in May 2016 last fixed stipends for students. Rs. 43,000 was the sum decided for the Ist year, Rs 44,000 for the second, and the final year was to be paid Rs. 45,000 reports TOI
The petitioners also pointed out that the annual Fee sum in Dental colleges also witnessed a hike from Rs. 5 lakh in 2016 to Rs 8.5 lakh in 2017 in the state; despite the neighboring state colleges charging less for the same course. The petitioners have argued that the fee hike was implemented by the Admission Supervisory Committee without keeping an account of the actual expenses incurred by the institutions, stated the petition. This fact was substantiated by the petitioning students by submitting a statement of accounts reflecting the actual expenses of students. The monthly profit reflected in this statement of a particular self-financing college is Rs 99,04,876 reported TOI.
All the dental colleges have intensive care unit and 24-hour casualty wings that are managed by PG students. While they are made to work for more than 10 hours, no remuneration is being paid to them, the PG students have alleged.