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Updated: May 12, 2014 00:35 IST

Medical education set to get costlier

R. Ravikanth Reddy
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Students may be burdened with multiple entrance tests as well. This has become must as the High Court has directed the Government to reveal its stand on the test issue before May 30.

Medical education is likely to become costlier from this year in terms of enormous increase in the fee structure while students may be burdened with multiple entrance tests.

The reason is the demand of private medical colleges for a steep hike from the present fee structure apart from claiming their right to conduct a separate entrance test. The A.P. State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE), the nodal agency for the common entrance tests in the State, will issue a notification in a couple of days asking the private colleges to express their willingness to conduct the test.

This has become must as the High Court has directed the Government to reveal its stand on the test issue before May 30. Private college managements can submit proposals through one group or multiple groups. The proposals would be viewed by the Admissions and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC) and decide on the ability of the association to conduct such tests.

If the private colleges’ proposals are accepted students may have to write another exam in addition to the EAMCET. But apprehensions are being raised on the efficiency of the colleges to conduct their own test maintaining transparency as earlier experiences with such tests in engineering stream led to controversies. It will be all the more difficult since medical seats are scarce and competition is high, and the issue may become sensitive politically and administratively.

The private colleges are also demanding a steep rise in the fee structure and the Admission and Fee Regulation Committee (AFRC) is likely to take a decision on it soon. Colleges have been arguing for a common fee of Rs. 10 lakh per year for the all the seats. As per the present structure 50 per cent of seats (A category) have to be filled with a fee of Rs. 60,000 per student while fee for 10 percent of seats (B category) is Rs. 2.4 lakh. Colleges can fill up 25 per cent of management quota seats with a fee of Rs. 5.5 lakh while the remaining 15 per cent seats are under NRI quota for which fee is not prescribed. In Government colleges fee is just Rs. 16,000.

However, the AFRC may settle for anything between Rs. 3.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh as common fee if it wants the multiple categories to go. Even such amount is likely to raise the hackles of parents. With two new States coming in to existence the respective Governments may not also approve such an ‘unpopular’ decision now.

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