AROUND 250 seats for post-graduation courses in private medical colleges in Maharashtra are likely to go vacant this year owing to a stalemate between colleges and the Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA). Of the 17 private medical colleges in Maharashtra, 12 have refused to admit students to PG courses, said Pravin Shingare, Director of Medical Education and Research. At the end of the first round of admissions on Thursday, seats allotted from these 12 colleges remained vacant, he said.
“Around 250 seats in these 12 colleges will go vacant. The state government cannot do much about it as it is a matter between the FRA and the colleges. If that is the decision of the colleges, we will remove these seats from the admission process,” said Shingare. Only five private colleges have admitted students, he added.
Private medical colleges have been protesting the FRA’s direction to cap the management quota and NRI quota fees to three times and five times the fee charged from merit quota students. Colleges have been demanding that they be allowed to charge five times the merit quota fees for both NRI and management quota students.
“We tried to convince the colleges to admit students to the merit quota as well as the NRI quota and leave the management quota seats until a consensus was reached. However, they have declined,” said Shingare. While NRI quota constitutes 15 per cent of the total seat count, management quota seats account for 35 per cent of the total.
Shingare said that the same colleges have, meanwhile, admitted students to the dental courses. “It’s only the medical seats that the colleges are denying admissions to. But there will be no extension of date for confirming admissions,” said Shingare.
Medical colleges maintained that it was a “matter of survival” for them. “The quality of education will suffer if the fee is capped. Colleges are only asking for a fee structure that helps colleges bear the cost of imparting education and also comply with the Medical Council of India norms,” said Kamal Kishor Kadam, president of the Unaided Medical College Association.
“It won’t be possible for the colleges to sustain with the fees stipulated by FRA. Government medical colleges receive financial aid from the government to the tune of Rs 300 crore. The only way we can raise that sum is through fees from students,” said Kadam.