Fee hikes spike many a dream for medical seats in state

Fee hikes spike many a dream for medical seats in state

This year, several student organisations staged a protest demanding that the government withdraw the fee hike for medical courses. dh file photo

Medical education has become expensive over the years with the state government conceding to the demand by private medical colleges for fee hike every academic year.

As a result, the fee for government quota seats in private medical colleges, which was around Rs 42,000 a decade ago, has reached Rs 1,11,959 for the 2019-20 academic year, for which admissions are going on.

Fee structure data for medical courses in the last 10 years, available with DH, (see table) shows that the fee has increased by three times in 10 years. This academic year, the government agreed to effect a 15% hike.

Not just the fee for government quota seats in private colleges, the fee in government medical colleges and the fee under ComedK quota have increased in the last 10 years by at least three times.

According to officials in the medical education department, this hike was effected, considering genuine demands by private medical colleges.

"Every year, we convene a meeting with private medical college managements, where they place the demand for fee hike along with supporting documents like hike in salaries, purchase of new equipment for laboratories and upgrade in infrastructure. Considering these, the government agrees for a hike."

"It is not that government agrees to all demands by private colleges. Every year, they demand for 30% hike, but government looks into all factors and convinces them to reduce the hike percentage."

Between 2006 and 2011, there was no hike in fee for government quota seats in private colleges. Till 2017, there was no increase in seats at government medical colleges. But, in 2018-19, the fee at government medical colleges was increased from Rs 16,700 to Rs 59,800.

This year, the fee has reached Rs 1,11,959 for government quota seat at private colleges and that for institutional quota has reached Rs 7,85,565.

This year, several student organisations staged a protest demanding that the government withdraw the fee hike for medical courses. Harsha Narayana, state secretary of ABVP, said, "In a few years, medical education will remain a dream for students from poor and middle-class families. Every year, the government joins hands with private colleges and agrees for fee hike. We demand that this be stopped."