Backlash to govt: MBBS fees to be Rs. 11 lakh, says SC

The court further clarified that of the 11 lakhs, 5 lakhs should be remitted in cash and remaining 6 lakhs in cash or bank guarantee.

Now that clarity has emerged in the tussle between the government and college managements over the MBBS course fee, the ultimate losers are the students who will have to cough up ₹55 lakh for the five-year course.

With just three more days for the admissions to MBBS seats to get over, the Supreme Court has ordered to fix the fees in private medical colleges in the state at Rs. 11 lakh, ignoring all arguments by the state government, in which, Rs. 5 lakh has to be paid as cash and the remaining Rs. 6 lakh as bank guarantee.

The government claimed it was forced to do this because the four-tier fee structure could not be continued after the Supreme Court made the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) the sole gateway for medical education past year.

So how did the Supreme Court arrive at a fee of ₹11 lakh?

Now that one seat for the MBBS course fetches up to ₹11 lakh, what would the college managements do with the fee they collect for the NRI quota?

“It is a face loss for the government, the health minister (who was overseeing the admission and fee discussions) should step down”, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, said in a press statement. The verdict comes as a huge setback for the Kerala government and financially weaker students who have already started seeking admission. Of the Rs 11 lakh, Rs 6 lakh may be paid as bank guarantee.

The court said all the colleges in the sector could charge the amount. The question now is whether the managements should give scholarship to students who can afford ₹11 lakh as fee? “It was with great pain that I heard reports about the SC verdict”. Practically, not only the government made so many policy bunglings, but failed to protect the interests of poor students also.

Health minister K K Shylaja did not respond to a call from Mint for comment.

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