Uniform fee for medical and dental courses

Medical and dental courses may have uniform fees from the ensuing academic year as the Admissions and Fee Regulatory Committee has started the exercise to devise a new fee structure for these courses.

Managements of medical colleges want the government to fix uniform fees on the lines of engineering courses. If implemented, merit students would be the worst affected as they will have to pay fees on par with management quota seats.

At present, medical seats are being offered under A, B and C categories. Under category A and B (merit quota), 50 per cent and 10 per cent seats, are offered based on Eamcet ranks for fees of Rs 60,000 (A) and Rs 2.40 (B) per annum.

The remaining 40 per cent seats are offered under category-C, which is management quota. Managements have to fill these seats by duly following merit and collect fees of Rs 5.50 lakh per annum.

But it is an open secret that these seats are sold or Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore. Managements argue that they are forced to collect such staggering donations for management quota seats as the fees prescribed for the remaining 60 per cent seats are very low. Their contention is that they spend nearly Rs 300 crore on infrastructure facilities and are incurring an expenditure of over Rs 17 lakh on each student.

"As per SC orders, there should not be differential fees. Managements are forced to collect heavy donations for management quota seats due to lower fee structure for merit seats. If uniform fees are devised, there will be no need for managements to resort to such unethical practices," said Dr Ganni Bhaskara Rao, general secretary of AP Private Medical Colleges Association.

The state government had abolished differential fees for engineering and management colleges two years ago and fixed college-wise uniform fees for both these categories. The medical colleges too want similar fee structures.
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