New Delhi: The controversial issue of MBBS fee charged by the Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences was recently put to rest by the Fee Regulating Authority (FRA), when it slashed the fee of the medical college from Rs 14 lakh to Rs 10.5 lakh for its 2017-18 batch.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that 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 set 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.
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.
Following the exemption, Vedantaa had in the month of October 2018 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 move of fee cut came in as a result of students grievances related to the faculty deficiency of 84% as pointed out by the Medical Council of India (MCI). Moreover, the recent inspection by the Maharashtra University of Health Science revealed that besides faculty deficiency, latest journals were unavailable, lab investigation reports were not signed by a pathologist and outdoor patient department data appeared inflated. Further, the deficiency of clinical practice for students posted in the college hospital, projectors were not working and lectures were often cancelled.
Fees has hence been cut down for the first batch of MBBS from Rs 14 lakh to Rs 10.5 lakh for the first and second year. The FRA has set a yearly fee of Rs 11 lakh from the third year.
“The students of the 2017-18 batch being the sufferers, in the sense that they were required to study at the institute with great number of deficiencies, cannot be saddled with the fee structure proposed by the institute,” FRA told TOI.
For the first time, FRA has not considered its mathematical calculations to set fees. Instead, it has taken into account the complaints put forth by students and decreased the fees of this Palghar institute. The regulating body states in the minutes of the meeting that there seems to be some substance in what the students said.
“Having considered the ground reality, the authority is of the view that the fee structure cannot be merely based on mathematical calculation,” FRA added.
Dr Ganesh Kesari, college principal told the daily that the institute respected the FRA’s decision but the matter was under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion elsewhere.
The only private limited college in the state college, which admitted its first batch of students in 2017-18, was barred from taking fresh students in 2018 by the Medical Council of India (MCI).