The PARENTS of students of a medical college in Kasarwadi have decided to launch a protest against the Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA) for approving the college’s demand to hike its fee by 86 per cent. A rural medical college in Kasarwadi, which started in 2015, first charged an interim fee of Rs 4.09 lakh, as decided by the FRA. For last year’s students, the interim fee was Rs 3.9 lakh. This year, the FRA approved a fee of Rs 7.25 lakh for the college, much to the dismay of parents whose wards study here.
There are a total of 200 students, 100 in each of the two batches, so far. Sunil Prathak, a parent, said that the 86 per cent hike had put parents and students in a difficult position. “Many parents are not in a position to bear the expenses any more. All the parents whose wards are in the second year have decided not to pay the fee until the FRA announces a rollback,” said Prathak.
The parents, along with the non-government organisation Forum Against Commercialisation of Education, have declared an agitation on June 20 outside the FRA office in Bandra. The parents said that despite repeated attempts to seek audience with FRA members, the regulatory body had remained silent on the issue. However, a member of the FRA, on condition of anonymity, said the fee hike was justified.
“The parents are comparing the approved fee with the interim fee, which is an ad-hoc fee decided for new colleges starting fresh batches,” said the member. He said that the FRA only approves a fees based on the balance-sheets of the colleges. “The first balance sheet was generated only last year. The approved expenses of the college amounts to Rs 16 lakh. Despite that, the FRA decided to cap the fee at Rs 7.25 lakh,” said the member, adding that the college would have to run on losses until the number of students increase.