HC rules out cross subsidy for medical, dental courses

HC rules out cross subsidy for medical, dental courses

Private colleges will have to refund Rs 8.7 crore to students

Further, the HC has also ruled that all students who paid the lower fee must pay over Rs 10 crore to the private institutions as compensation.

The ruling which was delivered on November 9 has in effect struck down cross subsidies for medical and dental courses. The decision comes after students filed a writ petition in 2006 challenging the cross subsidy system where one set of students had to pay more to subsidise education of students who paid lesser fees. 

MoU over-ruled

More significantly, the order in effect means that the High Court has over-ruled a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between private college associations and the Government of Karnataka on fee structure and seat sharing approved by the Supreme Court. The MoU allows for cross subsidy of fees for the benefit of poor students. A marginal difference after the subsidy, which amounts to about 5 per cent of the fee is paid by the Government to the colleges according to the MoU.
Students in the higher fee category had paid around Rs 3.25 lakh as fees while the lower fee category had paid Rs 35 thousand as fees for medical courses.
Now, the ruling means that the colleges will have to return around Rs 1.3 lakh to each student who paid higher fees and collect Rs 1.6 lakh from each student who paid lower fees.

Appeal to SC

The executive secretary of COMED-K and Principal of M S Ramaiah Medical College, Dr S Kumar told Deccan Herald that the private colleges have already approached the Supreme Court.

“Although in principle, the colleges stand to gain, our concern is about the students who have passed out. While the students who have to be paid will queue up to receive the money, we will have to trace each student who has to pay us back,” he said. Kumar added that because the subsidy and the fee structure were based on the agreement with the State government, it makes the Government party to the ruling.

“We have had no communication from the Government on the matter, so the private colleges are fighting the matter out by themselves,” Kumar said.
Also crucially, Kumar said, the government’s lack of participation in the whole matter could very well scuttle any talk of a Common CET.

Further, the private colleges have also expressed displeasure over the fact that the Fee Fixation Committee had not revised its fee slabs since 2004.

Comed-K terms

* Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) should be neutral and transparent
* KEA headed by an educationalist
* KEA board should not have secretaries and officers from other government departments
* Fee Fixation Committees should revise fee structure