Self-financing medical colleges may seek legal remedy to overturn govt bar on fee hike

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Kochi: The regulation of fee for medical students in private self-financing medical colleges is once again heading towards a legal battle with college managements planning to approach the Kerala High Court challenging a state government order against hiking the fee.

The government has ordered not to increase the fee in professional colleges in the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Fee Regulatory Committee, entrusted with the task of ensuring that the fee is "non-exploitative and reasonable," has not announced the fee structure for the current academic year. Based on an earlier order by a High Court division bench, the panel was to make a decision on the fee structure before February 15, college managements pointed out.

Citing the delay in commencing the fee regulation process, Christian college managements have been demanding that the regulation should not be allowed at this late hour, irrespective of the government order.

Though the court had directed to fix a "non-exploitative and reasonable" fee from 2017, the process has not yet been completed. Meanwhile, the government issued an order on June 17, 2021, saying the fee for MBBS students would not be increased this year.

The order issued by the Department of Higher Education caused confusion since the Health Department used to issue such directives.

Christian medical managements were seeking an increased fee citing a Medical Council of India directive to upgrade the facilities in colleges and the five-fold increase in fees for private college students for undergoing training in post-mortem examinations in government hospitals.

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