The Kerala government has moved the Supreme Court against a High Court order that paves way for a major fee hike in private medical colleges in the state. It was on November 13 that the Kerala High Court directed the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations (CEE) to issue a notification on the maximum permissible fees that could be collected by colleges. Accordingly, the CEE on November 18 issued a fee structure which would be applicable to 18 colleges. This has resulted in a steep increase in fees, compared to the fees collected until the previous academic year.
The state government has asked the SC to stay the order by the High Court, which has led to the steep rise in private medical college fees, reported Mathrubhumi.
The fees for medical education in private self-financing medical colleges in the state had earlier been fixed by the R Rajendra Babu Fee Regulatory Committee. Earlier, the annual fee ranged from Rs 6.22 lakh to Rs 7.68 lakh for the general category. Based on the CEEâ€™s notification, the tentative fees for the same category now ranges from Rs 7.65 lakh to Rs 20.7 lakh, merely tripling the fees. The non-resident Indian (NRI) category fees, which was previously in the range of Rs 20 lakh, has now been proposed to be in the range Rs 20 lakh to Rs 34 lakh.
According to reports, out of the 18 private medical colleges to which the fee notification applies, four institutions under Christain managements have said that they will continue to stick to the previous fee range fixed by the R Rajendra Babu Committee.
Private medical colleges in the state had approached the HC with the argument that the hospital must be treated as an establishment separate from the college, and that its profit or loss cannot have any bearing on the fees paid by students.
Meanwhile, state BJP president K Surendran in a statement called the state governmentâ€™s move to challenge the order in the Supreme Court an â€˜eye washâ€™. He alleged that the laxity of the state government led to the private medical colleges getting a favourable order from HC.