With the coming of NEET, while the process of examination has become common, the benefit of the same seems to be still far reaching for a medical aspirant. With the steep hike in the fee charged by medical colleges, many aspirants despite having the score, are unable to access quality medical education citing affordability issues . An affirmation of the same comes in the statistics collected by the TOI, on the costs incurred by medical students to acquire a medical degree, all across states in the country.
According to a TOI conducted survey, following are the costs incurred for a medical education in various states of India:
- The state of Tamil Nadu emerges as one of the most expensive grantor for medical study, with its annual fee ranging between Rs 16.8 lac and Rs 21.9 lac.
- Gujarat is the cheapest, with medical fee costs ranging between 9 lac and 4.5 lac.
This year has witnessed a further hike in medical fee at private medical colleges. The justification given by these colleges for the hike being stringent Medical Council of India (MCI), norms for hospitals and infrastructure. Insiders however, have a different version to state. According to them a substantial number of seats go to medical aspirants of other states who can pay substantial sums. If students are willing to pay, there is no stopping them, an MCI official added.
The National Eligibility Test has acted as another catalyst for fee hikes in all the states. Government colleges have however, maintained a steady sum for fee.Tamil Nadu in this case, once again leading all other states in the hike race.
- Chennai-based SRM Medical College, that was earlier charging a tuition fee of Rs 10 lac per year in 2015- has raised it to Rs.21 lac.
- The private Katihar Medical College, Bihar, has seen an annual revision of the tuition fee from Rs 8 lac last year to Rs.12.5 lac this year.
- Delhi has also witnessed a marginal rise; Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences, a private college in the capital has raised its annual fee for management quota from Rs.15 lac in 2015 to Rs.18 lac this year.
Though all private colleges come under the purview of the Supreme Court-appointed fee committees in each state, deemed universities are exempted of all such authority.
- Chennai-based Saveetha University , deemed in nature, has seen its annual tuition fee go up from Rs. 9 lac last year to Rs. 15 lac this year.
In Government colleges however, the cost of medical education is a fraction of these sums ranging from as little as Rs. 9,000 in Rajasthan to Rs. 4.4 lac in Punjab.
Private universities quoting overheads to being high state MCI stipulations for hospitals and college infrastructure as being stringent. ‘We need to woo faculty from clinical practice, which isn’t easy ,’ said a chancellor of a private university in Chennai.
Speaking about the status of deemed universities, Dr. CV Bhirmanandam, member of the TN committee, described them as being ‘out of their purview.’
“According to the SC directive we allow them to fix tuition fee factoring in their income, expenses and extra money to improve services and scope for some profit,” he said.
Skeptical activists state that despite hiking fee some colleges continue to take capitation fee. According to skeptics PAN number additions could help making the process fool proof.
Parents are disillusioned for it is their wards who happen to be worst hit. Money means business for private institutions, but it marks the end of a dream for the meritorious.
‘My daughter has the score, but we don’t have the money,” said K Srinivasan, who was asked to pay Rs 40 lac at a varsity in Chennai.’