Kerala

Pariyaram Medical College students go on indefinite strike

Protesting students at the medical college said that they would not pay the fees until the government came out with the fee structure for the academic year.

Protesting students at the medical college said that they would not pay the fees until the government came out with the fee structure for the academic year.  

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Protest against demand for payment of fees amounting to ₹5.60 lakh

Over 300 students pursuing courses in the Kannur Medical College Pariyaram are on an indefinite strike after they were prevented from entering the classroom for not paying the fees as demanded by the college.

The protesting students alleged that despite the government taking over the college, the authorities were forcing them to pay the higher fees as were being collected before the takeover.

The protesters argued that they would not pay the fees until the government came out with the fee structure for the academic year.

The students undergoing courses in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Bachelor of Pharmacy, PharmD, nursing, postgraduates, and house surgeons, who joined in 2018 were prevented from entering classes.

“While MBBS students who joined under merit in 2019 here have to pay the government fee of ₹25,000, the authorities are compelling the students who joined in 2018 to pay ₹5.60 lakh plus a special fee of ₹40,000,” said a student on conditions of anonymity.

He said they were prevented from entering the classrooms since January 1 and this was an act of injustice as the college was no more run by the cooperative society but by the government.

He said the Supreme Court had rejected the fee structure as determined by the Rajendra Babu Committee. However, the college authorities were forcing the students to pay the same fees in violation of the verdict. The government too had promised that it would not collect the higher fees.

They demanded that either the government should form a fee fixation committee for this academic year or the college authorities should wait until an order was passed in the case filed by them in the High Court.

The authorities had prevented the students from entering the classrooms without issuing any official notice or any letter seeking the higher fees. If the students did not attend the classes, they would have a year in backlog, they said.

Meanwhile, the students are planning to conduct a mass protest involving all the students of the college to raise the demand.

N.Roy, Principal, Kannur Medical College, said the college had demanded the fees after a decision to that effect was taken by the Minister for Health, Health Secretary and the Directorate of Medical Education.

He said the decision to collect the higher fees was based on the precedent at the Ernakulam Cooperative College which too was taken over by the government. The fees were collected in a similar way, he said, adding that he had been following the instructions given by the government.

Dr. Roy said that all the students had been allowed to enter the classes pending a final decision from the authorities. However, they would not be allowed to write the examination until they paid the fees, he sadi.

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 1:52:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pariyaram-medical-college-students-go-on-indefinite-strike/article30481143.ece

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