Tamil Nadu

To subsidise fee for 50% of students, private medical colleges will have to tax the rest, HC told

If deemed universities and self-financing medical colleges are forced to collect only around ₹18,000 per year from 50% of MBBS students, then those institutions will have no option but to collect a whopping ₹50 lakh to ₹60 lakh per year from the other 50% of students, Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI), an association of various educational institutions, argued before the Madras High Court on Monday.

Appearing before Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N. Mala, seized of a batch of cases filed against the National Medical Commission’s (NMC) February 3 office memorandum, senior counsel Vijay Narayan, representing EPSI, said it was unfair on the part of the NMC to order that all deemed universities and private medical colleges in the country should collect fee on a par with government medical colleges in their respective States and Union Territories for 50% of their intake.

He pointed out that self-financing colleges charged somewhere between ₹15 lakh to ₹20 lakh per year from MBBS students, and the fees in deemed universities was between ₹25 lakh to ₹30 lakh a year. Even the State government, in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in a case against the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, had stated it costs around ₹30 lakh to educate every MBBS student, whereas it subsidises the fees heavily.

If the deemed universities and self-financing colleges were forced to collect fees on a par with government colleges from 50% of its students, then the institutions would have to tax the rest to cover operating costs, and most families might not have the capacity to pay such high fees, Mr. Narayan said. He pointed out that the State government had also told the Supreme Court that it took around ₹60 lakh to educate a postgraduate medical student.

Contending that the NMC should stop with issuing guidelines for fixation of fees, the senior counsel pointed out that the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments had constituted committees headed by retired judges of the High Court for fixing the fees to be collected by professional colleges. Those committees fix the fees based on various parameters, including the infrastructural facilities available in individual colleges. This process could continue, he said.

“We are not incentivising colleges to provide better facilities, we are incentivising only to promote mediocrity. This is the sad state of affairs. When an institution invests a huge amount of money to establish a state-of-the-art educational institution, how else can it recover the costs and maintain the institution except by way of collecting appropriate fees,” the senior counsel said. He urged the court to set aside the NMC’s office memorandum.

Senior counsel P.S. Raman, representing Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research in Chennai, told the Bench at present the private institutions charge around ₹5 lakh a year from students allotted to those institutions under the government quota and between ₹12 lakh to ₹15 lakh a year for management quota seats. It would be impossible to run the institutions by collecting fees on a par with government colleges for 50% of seats.

Since he could not complete the arguments by the end of the day and also senior counsel A.R.L. Sundaresan also had to argue on behalf of a private institution from Puducherry followed by the reply of Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan, the judges adjourned the matter to August 16.


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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 9:46:14 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/to-subsidise-fee-for-50-of-students-private-medical-colleges-will-have-to-tax-the-rest-hc-told/article65746292.ece