Published: 29th July 2022
Puducherry: Private medical college students barred from internship, asked to pay Rs 8.1 lakh additional fee
Since the commencement of the internship on July 25, 2022, these students have been waiting outside the college in Puducherry
For the past four days, students of a private medical college in Puducherry were not allowed to attend their internship classes as the college management wants them to pay an additional fee of Rs 8.10 lakh (Rs 1.62 lakh per year), which is in excess of the Rs 3.13 lakh fee per year fixed by the Fee Fixation Committee and an “other fee” of Rs 50,000 charged by the college.
The college has demanded this from the 35 students admitted to the government quota seats in the college in 2017-2018, through the Centralised Admission Committee of the government, CENTAC. Though they had paid Rs 3.13 lakh per year (government bearing Rs 2.15 lakh), the management recently verbally communicated to them the breakup of the additional fee, said M Narayanassamy, president of Puducherry UT All CENTAC Students Parent Association.
Since the commencement of the internship on July 25, the students have been waiting outside the college. The one-year internship is of importance as the students will be allowed to write the NEET-PG entrance only if they complete it by July 31, 2023. Thus, in case the internship does not start by this July 31 the students will lose one year, said a parent.
Though the parents demanded a meeting to discuss the issue, the management did not come forward and only asked whether they would pay the amount or not, said the parent, adding, "It is very difficult to pay such a high amount all of a sudden."
The parents, along with Narayanassamy, met the Health Secretary on Thursday, July 30, seeking government intervention on the matter. They were asked to give a written complaint, following which, it was said that the government would initiate action starting with a show cause notice.
With the government procedures expected to take time and time running out, a few students have already paid the fee while others wait for government intervention. The issue has arisen as the Fee Fixation Committee of the UT government fixes only the tuition fee leaving the “other” fees to be decided by college managements.
This is despite the Supreme Court order stating, “While fixing fee, the Fee Fixation Committees of the States should take into account all the components of fee, leaving no scope for managements to charge any additional amount apart from what has been prescribed by the committee from time to time. In the event that the management intends to charge additional amounts over and above the price band fixed by the Fee Fixation Committee, or for any component not included in the structure fixed by the Fee Fixation Committee, the same can only be done with the concurrence of the Fee Fixation Committee."
While the other two private medical colleges in Puducherry have collected the other fees annually, the aforesaid college has suddenly asked an additional amount at the end of four years.