Following the cabinet meeting on
Wednesday, the Maharashtra state government has approved a two-fold fee hike
for all the government and aided medical colleges across the state, which means
that medical students will have to shell out double the amount of current fees
from the academic year 2011-12.
There will also be a 10% fee hike in
all state-run medical colleges. Development fee will have to be paid by the
students to the government. The annual fee for the MBBS course is up from Rs.
18,000 to Rs. 45,000. The fees for dental colleges will be hiked from Rs.
15,000 to Rs. 30,000. While the fees for Ayurveda and Unani will go up from Rs.
7,500 to Rs. 15,000 while for nursing it will be increased from Rs. 3,000 to Rs.
6,000. Pvt. Medical colleges will charge Rs. 4lakh annually for the MBBS
course. To protest against this fee hike the Maharashtra Association of
Resident Doctors (MARD) has decided to observe February 14 as a black day.
Justifying the fee hike, a senior Congress
minister said, "The government provides hostel facilities at a nominal
rate and also pays the electricity bill. It was difficult to maintain the
institutions with the amount that used to be collected from the students.
Therefore, the hike was necessary." While professor
and head of the department for
preventive and social medicine at KEM Hospital, Dr. R.R.Shinde
said, "The means to compensate for the increase in
expenditure should not be only through the increased fees. The basic concern
here is how the poor students will be able to afford the burden."