A Petition has been filed before the Madras High Court, seeking a direction to the Centre and the UGC to scrutinize and approve the Annual Fee for admissions to undergraduate medical courses offered by private Medical Colleges in Puducherry.
The Petition, filed by Advocate V.B.R. Menon points that in the Union Territory of Puducherry, there are seven private Medical Colleges, out of which four come under Deemed Universities, while three come under the Affiliated category.
He then goes on to submit that even though these private Colleges are entitled to fix and declare their Annual Fee, it is “mandatory” for the Centre, UGC and the MCI to regulate and control it, in order to prevent collection of Capitation Fee, and profiteering and commercialization of education on the pretext of yearly Tuition Fee.
“…unless and until the Annual Fees by the Private Affiliated and Deemed University Medical Colleges in Puducherry are effectively regulated to prevent colourable collection of Capitation Fee and profiteering in the disguise of annual fees , the meritorious and poor students may not be able to pursue their career in medicine in those Colleges. Early approval of Annual Fees by the Respondents 1 and 2 for MBBS courses in the Deemed University Colleges has become critical to avoid unnecessary litigations, pains and miseries to students and wastages of precious judicial time, as it had happened in the case of admissions to the Post Graduate medical admissions for the year 2017-18,” the Petition contends.
Mr. Menon brought to the notice of the Court that the four Respondent Self-Financing Deemed University Colleges have notified “highly exorbitant and unreasonable” Annual Tuition Fees ranging between 18 and 19.5 lakhs in their prospectus, while the Annual Fee approved by the Puducherry Fee Committee for three private Affiliated Medical Colleges ranged between 2.99 and 3.35 Lakhs only. This difference in fee, he submitted, is “prima facie unreasonable”.
Mr. Menon also demands that all direct missions to these Colleges to students who have not been selected through the common counselling by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) or the Centralized Admission Committee (CENTAC) be declared as null and void.
This has been demanded in the light of the interim directions recently issued by the Supreme Court with regard to the admissions in Medical Colleges across the country, on a plea filed by the Dar-Us-Slam Educational Trust.
Mr. Menon demands that the necessary actions be taken “on war-footing” as the admissions to undergraduate medical courses will commence soon. As an interim measure, it has been prayed that these Universities be directed to collect only Rs. 3.35 Lakhs as the provisional Annual Fee, till the determination of the issue by the Court and by the Centre.