KOCHI: THE Kerala High Court on Monday declined to stay the new fee structure fixed by the Justice Rajendrababu Committee for MBBS and dental courses in self-financing medical and dental colleges. The court also directed the state government to notify the fee provisionally fixed by the committee and posted the case for hearing after four weeks.
Upholding the committee’s provisional fee recommendation, it criticised the State government for the delay in rectifying the mistakes in the earlier ordinance on appointing the commission.
If there had been proper application of mind and coordination between different authorities/ departments, the government could have issued proper ordinance at the first instance itself and deal with the fixation of fee at the earliest, giving not much room for litigation. The mistakes crept in were quite serious, the court stated.
The court observed at the time of counselling, the students should be informed, by specifically incorporating a clause in the notification, the fee was only provisional and there might be enhancement on regulating the same, after perusing relevant records. The exercise undertaken by the committee revealed various aspects were considered and was vigilant to protect the interest of the institutions, it observed.
The committee has provisionally fixed the fee for 85 per cent of the MBBS seats in private self-financing medical colleges at Rs 5 lakh and Rs 20 lakh for NRI seats. While fixing the fee at Rs 5 lakh for 85 per cent of the MBBS seats, the committee has effected a Rs 50,000 reduction from the fee fixed earlier. However, it has decided to increase the NRI seat fee to Rs 20 lakh from the earlier Rs 15 lakh. It has also fixed the fee for BDS general merit seats at Rs 2.90 lakh and retained fee for NRI seats at Rs 6 lakh.
The All Kerala Self-Financing Dental College Management Consortium had sought to fix the fee for general seat at Rs 4 lakh, which according to the committee, appeared to be prima facie exorbitant. While increasing the fee of the NRI seats, the committee said an amount had to be kept as corpus for giving scholarship to BPL category candidates, as the interest of the poor and meritorious students also had to be protected by the committee. It’s in this light the committee had provisionally fixed the fee for NRI candidates at Rs 20 lakh.