The commission has listed over 25 guidelines, ranging from not charging exorbitant sums as security deposits to not including all hospital expenses while computing the cost for providing medical education. It has disallowed capitation fees in any form and said colleges must adhere to the ‘not-for-profit’ model.
Parents say once implemented, the rules will bring relief to thousands of meritorious students who cannot pursue medical education in private and deemed colleges due to the steep fees. In Maharashtra, private colleges charge up to Rs 16 lakh per annum and deemed colleges charge up to Rs 25 lakh per annum as fees. “It is already two years, and we hope these draft regulations are implemented before the next academic session begins,” said a health ministry official.
The guidelines state that only operating cost should be primarily considered to determine fees. “The fees can be fixed for a block of three years or on a year-to-year basis and should remain the same for the entire duration of study, subject to inflation adjustment,” the draft said.
Fees in newly established colleges should be decided on an ad-hoc basis, based on the fee structure of a recently established college in state. “Since the expenditure in the Covid-19 pandemic year will not depict the true picture, as hostel, mess expenses dropped and expenses in hospitals and doctors’ allowances & salaries went up, state fee regulatory body can consider the average financial result of last three years,” said the statement.
The expert group has recommended linking the development fee of 6-15% of the operating cost to the performance of the college in a rating system, which is in the pipeline. The amount of security deposits should not be considered for calculating fees and interest on the deposits may be deducted from the operating costs, it said.
The dean of a deemed medical college said the guidelines need to be studied. “Most deemed colleges will oppose the idea of the government regulating fees in 50% seats. Our autonomy will be affected. Since it is open to suggestions, we are going to write to the NMC,” said the dean.