Indian Campus

Management quota fee: State government to act against medical institutions found overcharging

The Maharashtra government would take strict action against those colleges that are found overcharging.

DEEMED AND private medical institutes charging management quota fee that exceeds the amount decided by the Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA) are likely to face the wrath of the state government. “Strict action will be taken against such colleges. We will not only cancel admissions in such cases but will also impose a fine as per the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Act, 1998,” said Pravin Shinghare, director, state Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) on Thursday. The decision is valid for both post-graduate and undergraduate admissions.

For the first time in 25 years, it is mandatory for private and deemed institutions to declare the fee charged under the management quota for admissions. The rule was brought in by the DMER after it was granted the right to conduct admissions to all medical institutes this year by the Medical Council of India. It was done to ensure transparency in medical admissions that is riddled with allegations of corruption.

“We have made it very clear that we will not allow any admission unless the medical institutes declare their fees. The fees will be displayed on the website of DMER for the benefit of aspirants,” said Shinghare, adding that 10 deemed institutes have already declared their fee for post-graduate seats.

While the state quota fees (as decided by the Fee Regulatory Authority) range from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, deemed medical colleges charge upto Rs 75 lakh for NRI quotas, reveals the data with the DMER. D Y Patil Medical College in Pune charges Rs 75 lakh from students in the NRI quota and Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College in Pune charges Rs 54 lakh. Of the private colleges, only one institute has declared its fee structure. S K Navale Medical University in Pune is granted a fee of Rs 9 lakh for its merit quota students but it charges up to Rs 95lakh under the management quota.

“The institute charges different fees under the management quota for different streams of PG courses. Whether this is legal is to be decided by the FRA,” said Shinghare, adding that aspirants can soon see the fees charged by all medical institutes — government, deemed and private — under three sections of state quota, institutional quota and NRI quota.

According to the DMER, the fee for private and government medical institutes comes under the aegis of the FRA — an independent decision-making body- as per the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act, 2011. However, Shinghare said that a Supreme Court verdict allows private and deemed colleges to adopt a cross-subsidy model in which case, the institutes can charge five times the base fee from students in the NRI quota only. Shinghare said that any institute that exceeds this mandate will be penalised.

However, an FRA member told The Indian Express that the SC ruling to adopt a cross subsidy model may not be applicable in Maharashtra as an Act for Fee regulation came into force after the SC verdict. “The verdict does not apply to the FRA as we are ruled by the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act,” he said.

But he said the FRA may decide to adopt the SC verdict of cross-subsidy model. “In that case, if the NRI quota fee is increased, the fee for merit quota students will come down substantially,” he said.

Currently, the FRA decides the fee structure for merit quota students. “As of now, the fee decided by us for merit quota, management quota and NRI quota are the same. We decide the fee per student per course. This is binding to all colleges and they cannot charge excess fee under the name of management quota,” he said, adding that it was illegal for institutes to charge different fees for varied courses.

Private medical colleges said they were willing to fix the fees charged under management quota as directed by the government but on a condition.

Kamal Kishor Kadam, president of the Unaided Medical College Association, said, “The government should allow us to fix the fee as per the cost of education incurred by it in government colleges. So, if a government is spending Rs 25 lakh per student per year as stated in the budget, the FRA should not ask us to fix the fee below that.”