Tamil Nadu

Deemed universities, self-financing medical colleges challenge NMC memorandum on fee fixation in HC

A host of deemed to be universities and self-financing medical colleges in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have rushed to the Madras High Court challenging an office memorandum issued by the National Medical Commission (NMC) on February 3. The memorandum insisted that the fee for 50% of seats in those educational institutions must be on a par with the fee collected by the government medical colleges in the respective State or the Union Territory.

Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N. Mala on Tuesday agreed to take up the batch of writ petitions for hearing on August 8 after senior counsel Vijay Narayan, P.S. Raman and AR.L. Sundaresan, representing the educational institutions, highlighted the urgency involved in the matter as the government appointed committees for the fixation of fee with respect to private professional colleges in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were expected to begin their work soon.

Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Medical College and Hospital, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Swamy Vivekanandha Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences and Education Promotion Society for India and a body of various educational institutions had filed the writ petitions.

They had challenged the Constitutional validity of Section 10 (1)(i) of the National Medical Commission Act of 2019 under which the office memorandum had been issued and also sought for a consequential order quashing the memorandum. Mr. Narayan told the court that the fees in government medical colleges was highly subsidized, and it would be impossible for the self-financing institutions to charge the same quantum of fees for 50% of their seats.

When he urged the court to stay the operation of the NMC’s office memorandum, the Chief Justice said it would not be necessary at the present stage since the results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), conducted this year, were yet to be announced. Mr. Raman, representing the Sri Ramachandra Institute, obtained the permission of the court to make a mention this week if the fee determination committee in Tamil Nadu begins fixing fees on the basis of the memorandum.

The memorandum read: “After extensive consultations, it has been decided that the fee of the 50% seats in the private medical colleges and deemed universities should be on a par with the fee in the government medical colleges of that particular State or Union Territory. The benefit of this fee structure would be first made available to those candidates who have availed government quota seats but limited to the extent of 50% of total sanctioned strength.

“However, if the government quota seats are less than 50% of the total sanctioned seats of the respective medical college/deemed university, the remaining candidates would avail the benefit of fee equivalent to the government medical college fees based purely on the merit.” The memorandum also went on to list out 25 guidelines to be followed in every State or Union Territory while fixing fee or other charges that could be collected by private medical colleges or deemed universities.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2022 8:39:14 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/deemed-universities-self-financing-medical-colleges-challenge-nmc-memorandum-on-fee-fixation-in-hc/article65717118.ece