With the matter still at the Supreme Court, the medicos have demanded the state government to let them attend their classes, as due to no attendance their studies are drastically suffering.
Chennai: Fee issues are causing havoc at Raja Muthiah Medical College, attached to the Annamalai University as over 500 of the 750 MBBS students of the medical college, who had been removed from college rolls on account of non-payment of fees, have threatened to go on a mass strike
The MBBS medicos have stated that they will go on a strike if the state government does not allow them to attend classes until the Supreme Court hears their review petition against the course fee. The issue of the medical college fee is pending before the apex court
Medical dialogues had earlier reported about the issue of the “exorbitant” fee being charged by the university, which was sternly protested by the MBBS medicos.
With the Annamalai university been gone into the hands of the state government in 2013, the Raja Muthiah Medical College (RMMC) continued to remain a self-financing unit. As a result, the fees charges of the college are much higher than that of the other 22 government medical colleges, across Tamil Nadu.
The fee disparity between RMMC and other medical colleges of the state become apparent when we compare the fee charges. MBBS students in the RMMC pay Rs. 5.54 lakh per year, whereas government-run medical colleges charge only Rs. 13,600 per year. For MD/MS programs, while the fee fixed by the government is Rs. 31,325 per year, students at Raja Muthiah pay Rs. 9.8 lakh per year.
In an earlier hearing, Supreme Court directed that the statutory committee should fix the fee. Accordingly, the government informed the court on September 15 that the committee had decided to retain the medical college fee at Rs 4 lakh.
The committee, among others, had health secretary J Radhakrishanan and director of medical education Dr Edwin Joe.
Allegations have been piling against the committee whereby Doctors Association for Social Equality general secretary Dr GR Ravindranath stated that the said members would be biased, as they were also members of the senate since 2013 when the government took over the university due to financial and administrative irregularities.
TOI reports that the matter is still at the Supreme Court. Holding the same, the medicos have asked the state government to let them attend their classes, as due to no attendance their studies are drastically suffering.
The MBBS students have alleged that for the last fourteen years, more than Rs. 2300 crore in grants have been given to the university, which were shown as loans. In addition, the parents of the MBBS medicos have accused the medical college alleging that the medical college didn’t maintain a separate expenditure account for its hospital expenses, and showed all the expenses in the medical college account, which thereby raised the fee of the students making it extremely exorbitant.
“The university did not have a separate expenditure and balance sheet for the college… In gross violation of the SC order, they added Rs 100 crore hospital expenses as expenditure. The committee has also overlooked the fact that the university is showing annual government grants to the institution as loans. The fee amount is jacked up as the institution is submitting unaudited accounts,” a parent alleged to TOI.
After the writ petition was decided by the apex court on September 12, parents were given a 24-hour deadline to pay the fee, the parent stated.
Meanwhile, Director of Medical Education Dr A Edwin Joe said that the parents were told during admissions that the decision of the fee committee would be final. “This college is not run like 22 other medical colleges of the government. It is a self-financing college and parents knew about the fee structure and what to expect during admissions,” he informed TOI.