KOCHI: The managements of private medical colleges have approached the Kerala High Court, seeking its nod to collect `11 lakh as fee from MBBS students who had secured admission for the 2017-18 batch. They also challenged the new fee structure for self-financing MBBS courses fixed by the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee for 2018-19. The court will consider the cases on Monday.
The committee had fixed the fee at `5.6 lakh after allowing an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year’s fee for future development expenditure and growth and making an increase of 5 per cent per annum towards wholesale price index.
The batch of petitioners includes Believers Church Medical College, Kannur Medical College, Karuna Medical College and Sree Gokulam Medical College.
The committee had passed the order by taking away the colleges’ basic right in fixing the fee, the managements alleged. After rejecting the colleges’ proposals, the committee had fixed the slab and decided that the fee should not be more than `5 lakh.
According to the managements, the committee should not have functioned in such a manner. In fact, the 2017-18 fee had been regularised on the basis of the previous year’s fee, instead of taking into account the colleges’ income and expenditure. In fact, there had been only an increase of 15 per cent over the previous year’s fee structure. The colleges could not be run based on a fee fixed at the whims and fancies of the committee members, they said.
The political ideology of the government should not be the guiding principle for regulating the fee structure of self-financing colleges. The committee’s orders showed that there was no independent discharge of its functions, they said.
The fees are fixed by the institutions on the basis of their income and expenditure. Besides, the investment made and the financial liability arising out of running the colleges had to be taken into account, they said. The primary duty of the committee is to see whether the fees fixed by the colleges amount to exploitation and profiteering. If the committee felt that way, it must state with cogent reasons how the inclusion of the expenditure would constitute exploitation or profiteering, they said.