BENGALURU: The tussle between the state government and private professional medical colleges over fixing the fee hike for under-graduate courses has taken a turn for the worse with medical college managements deciding to approach the court. According to management representatives of private medical and dental colleges in the state, the decision to fight it legally was taken on Friday after an inclusive meeting with Medical Education Minister D K Shivakumar during which he rejected the demand by colleges while insisting that the fees cannot be increased by more than 8 per cent.
M R Jayaram, chairman, Karnataka Professional Colleges Foundation, said they will not attend meetings with the state government anymore to discuss fee structure and seat sharing. “The minister was not even ready to hear our demands. He straight away rejected our proposal and said he can’t give more than 8 per cent, and that we can do whatever we want to. So we have decided to fight it out legally.” According to sources from the Medical Education Department, the minister decided not to go beyond 8 per cent, which was recommended by the Fee Regulatory Committee headed by retired Justice D V Shylendra Kumar. However, the colleges demanded a 30 per cent fee hike, which the minister rejected, without taking it up for further discussion.
“It is difficult to run colleges without increasing the fees. Let us sort it out legally as we cannot accept fee hike lesser than 8 per cent,” Jayaram said. However, the engineering colleges have decided to wait for a few more days as Higher Education Minister G T Devegowda, who held a meeting with private engineering college management recently, said he would get back after a few days. M K Panduranga Setty, secretary, Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association, said, “We demanded 30 per cent hike. But the minister said he would come back after a few days, and we have decided to wait for his reply.”
Meanwhile, according to sources, both the Higher Education and Medical Education Ministers have decided to place the matter before the co-ordination committee.