NEET After effect: Medical Colleges hike tuition fee to compensate capitation fee.
Joining a medical college post NEET can be heavy on student’s pocket. After National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) private medical colleges across India have substantially hiked tuition fees, while the cost of medical education in government colleges is somewhat the same. This, in turn, may make it difficult for poor students to study in a private college even if they managed to secure a seat through NEET.
At Chennai's SRM Medical College, the tuition fee is now Rs 21 lakh per year, costing Rs 94.5 lakh for the four-and-a-half year MBBS course, against Rs 10 lakh per annum last year, excluding expenses on books and lodging. In Katihar Medical College in North Bihar, the annual tuition fee has been revised from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 12.5 lakh. In Delhi, at the Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences, a tuition fee in the management quota is up from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 18 lakh.
In government colleges, the sums range from as little as Rs 9,000 for the entire MBBS course in Rajasthan to Rs 4.4 lakh in Punjab.
At Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Navi Mumbai, for example, the official fee is hiked by 3% every year. In 2013, the annual fee stood at Rs 8.5 lakh. This year, it's up by 32%. Students now have to pay Rs 16.5 lakh annually or Rs 76.2 lakh for their entire course. Similarly, at Chennai-based Saveetha University, the annual tuition fee has gone up from Rs 9 lakh last year to Rs 15 lakh now.
Private universities say their overheads have been very high. "MCI stipulations for hospitals and college infrastructure are very stringent. We also need to woo faculty from clinical practice, which isn't easy," said Dr Raj Bahadur, vice-chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, which conducts centralized counselling for medical colleges in Punjab.
Ground facts only indicate that the private medical college fee has only doubled in the last 5 years. And, this year it seems it will double in just one go. Some heads also cited competition from other medical colleges as a reason for pushing up their fees.
Members of state fee committees say they are aware of the climb in cost of medical education post NEET, but are helpless. "We can't do anything about it unless the public takes it up with the courts," said Dr C V Bhirmanandam, a member of the fee committee in TN.
Currently, the fees for the MBBS course in private medical colleges hovers anywhere between Rs 50 lakhs to Rs 70 lakhs, and for BDS, it is between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 35 lakh, which may further be increased by up to 25 per cent, a Union Health Ministry source said.