132 medical, dental, nursing and AYUSH colleges Opt for No Upward Fees Revision: FRA Maharashtra
Mumbai: In a recent circular, the Fee Regulating Authority has mentioned the list of medical, dental, nursing and AYUSH colleges that have opted for "no upward revision" for the 2021-22 academic year. In fact, some colleges have opted for no upward revision for two consecutive academic years- 2020-21 & 2021-22.
As per the data released by FRA, a total number of 132 colleges have opted for this "no upward revision" scheme for MBBS, BDS, nursing, and AYUSH courses offered in those institutes.
Not only medical courses, but the data also reveals that a total number of 1024 colleges across technical, agricultural and medical courses have decided to keep their fee structure the same as that of the previous year. So, the data reveals that at least 43% of institutes offering these courses in the State, has settled for no increase in the fee structure.
Among the 117 colleges that have opted for no upward revision for this academic year- 2 offer MBBS course, 1 MD/MS, 10 BDS, 8 BDSPG, 11 BAMS, 9 BAMSPG, 17 BHMS, 7 BHMSPG, 12 Physiotherapy, 5 Master of Physiotherapy, 1 Unani, 25 Nursing, 6 MSC Nursing, 3 PBSC Nursing courses.
On the other hand, a total number of 15 Colleges offering medical courses have decided for this no upward revision policy for two consecutive years. The list includes 1 BDS college, 1 BDSPG, 4 BAMS, 1 BAMSPG, 2 BHMS, 2 BHMSPG, 1 Physiotherapy, 2 Nursing, and 1 PBSC Nursing colleges. These 15 colleges have decided to retain the fee structure of A.Y. 2019-2020 for the current academic year, i.e. 2021-2022.
Addressing the need for such a measure amidst the financial crisis caused by the Pandemic, the Fee Regulating Authority mentioned in the notice, "We all know that society is facing an extraordinarily challenging time in this financial year due to the outbreak of a pandemic. Many families are in financial distress. Demand depression, high unemployment, jeopardized the economic well-being of millions."
"The managements of the educational institutions cannot remain oblivious to the above-ground reality. Therefore, the need of the time is to seriously consider whether to seek upward revision in the fee structure for AY 2021-22. or remain contended with the previous academic year's fees" added the FRA notice dated 10.03.2021.
FRA, a quasi-judicial body was formed in 2004 to regulate the fees of all the unaided self-financing colleges in the state. Clearly, the institutes approach the authority for proposed changes in the fee structure. The authority then considers several factors including the nature of the course, number of students, teaching and non-teaching staff, infrastructure, and other facilities before fixing the fees.
As per the latest media report by the Hindustan Times, the FRA had asked the unaided professional colleges in the state to consider the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown and its effect on households before hiking annual fees. The latest circular by the authority comes shortly after it.
While commenting on the decision by the colleges to choose no upward revision for two consecutive years, a senior FRA official, on condition of anonymity, told Hindustan Times, "Some of these institutes had applied for a two-year no upward revision in 2019-20 itself, and will continue the same until 2021-22. We should encourage more institutes to take similar steps in order to ensure that no student ends up losing out on education due to lack of funds in such trying times."
Mentioning that FRA would consider the decrease in the expenditure of the institute for this year, the official further added, "The fact that they incurred less expenditure last year will reflect in their balance sheets that they have to submit along with their proposal. This, too, will help reduce the fees that will be approved for the upcoming academic year."
However, the director of a private medical college in Pune begged to differ. He informed the daily that even though classes were not being conducted physically, online classes were regular and the staff were paid in full.
"No staff was sacked neither was their salary deducted because not only was our staff conducting classes but were also running the hospital for several hours at a stretch fighting Covid-19. We also need to take into consideration the considerable expenditure institutes will incur in sanitization of classes and hostel, so the only way to meet expenditure is by charging fees," he said.
To view the original FRA circular, click on the link below.