Mumbai: Parents of students studying in BKL Walawalkar Rural Medical College at Chiplun are stunned by the sudden rise in fees for the academic year 2016-17. The fees were Rs 3.90 lakh last year but now parents will have to pay Rs 7.25 lakh within 15 days starting May 8.
As per the norms of the Fee Regulation Authority (FRA) which approves the fees of various medical colleges across Maharashtra, any medical college can raise the fees by 5-10% every year. Considering this norm this college can increase their fees by Rs 39,000 (10 % of Rs 3,90,000) but the college informed the parents to pay Rs 7.25 lakh.
Parents claimed that the medical college has no right to increase the fees by such a large percentage. Sunil Prathak, a parent, said, “The fees are hiked by 86%. All the other medical colleges of Maharashtra hike their fees by 5-10%, then why is this college charging this exorbitant amount?”
The college authorities refused to label the increase a fee hike. Pramod Bapat, principal of the college, told Free Press Journal, “This is not a fee hike, it is just a difference of fees which is approved by the FRA. Last year we charged less fees because that was ad hoc fees and now we are charging the difference. If we had charged a high amount of fees right at the start the parents wouldn’t have raised any issue.”
College authorities also mentioned that parents were informed about fees being increased during the time of admission. “Parents had signed an undertaking about fees to be increased in the future,” Bapat added. While, Prathak said, “We signed the undertaking agreeing the fee hike within the 5-10 % parameter but not for such a huge increase.”
Parents want the state government to intervene. “The state government should give an interim stay to the fee hike till the FRA hears parents or reverse the fees and bring it down to a reasonable level,” Prathak said.
BKL Walawalkar Rural Medical College is the only medical college in Chiplun and entire Konkan district. Parents and students opt for this two-year-old college because of its low fees but now with this fee issue parents are in a fix as examinations of their wards are approaching.