Private medical colleges flout norms to collect extra fee from students

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VIJAYAWADA: Several private medical colleges are flouting norms stipulated by the state government in collection of fees from their students pursuing both MBBS and post-graduation courses.

After state government revised the fee structure downwards for PG medical courses to benefit students, some managements have started finding ways and means to recoup this amount from students using one pretext or another.

In the downward revision, fee structure for PG students had been fixed at ₹4.32 lakh for Category-A colleges, ₹8.64 for Category-B and up to ₹50 lakh for Category-C colleges, unlike the earlier ₹7.5 lakh, ₹25 lakh and ₹75 lakh respectively.

Following this, private medical college managements are insisting on students to take hostel accommodation compulsorily, charging them ₹2 lakh to ₹3.5 lakh per annum. In addition, they are collecting about ₹1 lakh towards other fees for annual sports meet, library and so on.

Further, some colleges have stopped returning the refundable cautionary deposit of about ₹50,000 they collect from students for the entire course period. Moreover, certain colleges are paying a lesser stipend of ₹30,000 per month to PG students, though all private colleges are supposed to pay stipend on par with government colleges.

Students pursuing MBBS courses too in private medical colleges are having to pay up higher amounts in different ways. Some managements are asking students to pay fee for the entire fifth year, even though the MBBS course duration is only for four-and-a-half years. This means students are having to pay fee for additional six months, though their course ends in 4.5 years.

This became evident when Chittoor-based Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research sent a circular informing all students of MBBS of 2018 batch to pay their entire fifth-year tuition fee on or before August 10. The college underlined that it has already communicated fee details of fifth year’s payment through “Fee Reminder Letter’ by post / courier and a phone call to parents of the students. The circular clarified that “Students having fee dues will not be allowed to attend fifth-year classes.”

So is the case with several other private medical colleges in the state, which are insisting on payment of entire year’s fee by MBBS final year students. Students are asking managements of these colleges why they must pay the fee for six months additionally when the course period is of only four-and-a-half years. They have underlined that this is causing a severe financial burden on students and their parents.

AP Junior Doctors’ Association state president Dr. J. Jeshwanth said, “Though state government has regulated fee so that more students can pursue medical education, some private medical colleges are flouting norms and collecting additional fee under different pretexts. This is causing trouble to us and our families. We request state government to intervene and help us overcome these issues.”

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