Private medical and dental colleges in Telangana have demanded that the fees be hiked by 5% taking into consideration inflation, maintenance of infrastructure etc. This even as the Telangana State Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (TSAFRC) is expected to soon revise the fee structure for the academic years 2020-2023.
The present fee structure for the MBBS 'A' category (convenor quota) is Rs 60,000, 'B' category (management quota) is Rs 11.55 lakh and 'C' category (NRI quota) is Rs 23.10 lakh.
The private colleges said that the hike is inevitable owing to inflation. "Though we can't dictate much, the fee should be increased, we want the TSAFRC to hike the fee by 5%," C Lakshmi Narayana Rao, Telangana Private Medical and Dental Colleges Association President said.
However, junior doctors have appealed to the TSAFRC to be considerate while hiking the fee. They claim that the private colleges have been hiking fees by 5% every year.
Speaking to TNM, Dr K Mahesh, President of Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association (HRDA), an association of junior doctors, alleged that the TSAFRC should consider the fact that the private colleges have been hiking 5% of fee annually for UG courses though the TSAFRC never made such a recommendation. “For the block period of 2016-2019 (three years), the TSAFRC had determined the fee structure. However, the Government Order issued had a clause that the colleges could increase their fee by 5% every year citing inflation. This increase was never recommended by the TSAFRC.” The HRDA now wants the TSAFRC to consider the previous hikes, and then make a fee revision for the block year of 2020-2023.
The HRDA appealed to the TSAFRC urging it consider the plight of the students and make the fee revision, in accordance with the High Court’s observation. The Telangana High Court (then Hyderabad High Court) in May 2017 was hearing a plea over the exorbitant fee collected by the private colleges for PG courses. The Court had issued an interim order stipulating that the students could pay 50% of the fee and execute a personal bond for the balance 50%. The HRDA wants the TSAFRC to go by the court's observation on the PG fee hike, while revising the fee for the 2020-2023 block year.
Lamenting about the impending hike, Mahesh said, “Education should not be commercialised. If it is commercialised, the doctors would only think of repaying the fee by charging the public.”
The TSAFRC had issued notification asking the private un-aided professional colleges in the state to submit their audited financial statements for the years of 2017-18 and 2018-19 by January 30. After going through the audit reports, the fee structure will be determined.