Palghar: The Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences has issued a nerve-racking notice directing its second-year MBBS students to pay the annual fees for the academic year 2018-19, failing which, they will not be allowed to attend regular classes and will be marked absent.
The issue was recently reported in Mumbai Mirror which stated that the institute, affiliated to the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik; had issued the notice on October 16 asking second-year MBBS students to pay Rs 14 lakh as fees.
“The students who fail to pay the tuition fees of Rs. 14 lakh will not be allowed to attend regular classes after eight days of the publication of this notice and will be marked absent,” the notice stated. Students need to have 75 per cent attendance in order to appear for exams.
The supremacy to issue such a notice by an MUHS affiliated institute comes after the exemption from Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA), which was granted to the institute in April this year.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the state by relieving Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences 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 FRA and gave it complete authority to fix its MBBS 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 had informed.
However, this exemption shortly saw condemnation from the medicos claiming that the hike in fee will 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.
In response, the Bombay High Court was approached for the matter. The HC put a stay on a government resolution which gave permission to the college to charge Rs 14 lakh as fees.
Having said that, the said exemption was not valid for last year students as the FRA for the students of the academic year 2017-18 had recommended capping the annual fees at Rs 6 lakh and asked the institute to refund fee amounts taken over and above Rs 6 lakh.
However, on October 15, the High Court stayed this decision of the FRA, and allowed the institute to charge Rs 14 lakh for the course after taking cognizance of the fact that the institute is private and hence, has the right to incur profit. Soon after the college issued the ultimatum to its current second year medicos.
Clarifying the reason for the notice, the college authorities told Mumbai Mirror that due to the non-payment of fees, it was in a financial problem and had not paid teachers’ salaries.