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New Guidelines For Lower Fees in Private Medical Colleges

Context:

According to the new guidelines by the National Medical Commission, private medical colleges, including deemed universities, will have to charge fees equivalent to government medical colleges in their states for half of the total approved seats in their institutes.

Relevance:

GS II- Government Policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Which seats will be available at lower costs and who will benefit?
  2. How will the cost be fixed for the remaining seats in private colleges?

Which seats will be available at lower costs and who will benefit?

  • Out of the 85,000 medical seats in the country, about half each are in 276 private colleges (41,190 seats) and 286 government colleges (43,237).
  • In addition to the seats in the government colleges, half the seats in private colleges (or about 20,000) too will be available to students at lower tuition fees determined by the government.
  • A member of the NMC said students will be granted these seats as per merit in the NEET-UG test.
  • “The students will first be given the seats at government medical colleges, their next option would be the seats in private medical colleges (at government determined fees) and then the rest of the private seats. All admissions will be through merit.”
  • In the past, some states had capped the fee charged by some private medical colleges, but the norms were not uniform across the country.
  • Even then, the regulated or capped fees in private colleges was higher than in government medical colleges in that state.

How will the cost be fixed for the remaining seats in private colleges?

  • The guidelines state that no capitation fees can be charged by the medical colleges and the determination of the fees will be on a “not-for-profit” basis.
  • The operating cost of the medical college will form the basis for the fee structure; the operating cost will be calculated on the basis of the audit report from the previous financial year (for the last three years at the moment because of the pandemic).
  • For a new college without an audit report, the fee structure would be calculated on an ad-hoc basis based on the audit of the most recently established medical college in the state.
  • The fee fixed for a student joining the college should remain the same for the entire duration of the study, subject to inflation adjustment.
  • The medical colleges will also be allowed to charge a development fee that can range between 6 to 15% on operating cost, depending on their previous expenditure and development plans at present and linked to national rank once the ranking system is in place.
  • No cost of running a hospital associated with the medical college can be included in the student fees.
  • In case of a hospital running at a heavy loss, the state fee regulatory committee may allow the college to charge a portion of it from the students for a period of five to seven years.

-Source: Indian Express

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October 2022
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