Over 150 MBBS students protest against high fees at hybrid Govt Erode Medical college
Erode: Over 150 MBBS students of 'hybrid' Government Erode Medical College and Hospital protested against the high fee structure even after being taken over by the government for two years now. The medicos raised slogans and staged a demonstration in front of the institution demanding to reduce the fee and bring it at par with other government medical colleges.
Presently, the medicos have been paying Rs 5 lakh fee when compared to other government medical colleges that charge Rs 13600 only despite being taken over by the Government.
The Institute of Road and Transport (IRT) Perundurai Medical College was established in 1992 and was established under the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, implying that 30 percent of the seats were allotted to children of Transport employees.
In 2018, when the government decided to take the college under its wing, it moved the college from the Transport Department to the Health and Family Welfare Department. In the Government Order, it had stated that the college was being handed over to the Department since the State Transport Undertaking was extremely weak and that they were unable to contribute effectively to the ongoing expenditure of the institute.
In 2019, the Tamil Nadu Government took over the IRT Perundurai Medical College and renamed it as Government Erode Medical College, affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R Medical University, Chennai. Though the name and control over the institution changed, the fee structure of the institution did not change at all as the medical students continue to pay Rs 3.85 lakh every year instead of Rs 13,160, which is the standard government medical college fee.
However, this is in contrast to the 2018 government order that had stated in respect of fee as quoted by edexlive, "The IRT Medical College and Hospital is collecting a sum of Rs 3.85 lakh per annum per seat for both the management quota seats as well as the government quota seats surrendered to the state government. As in a Hybrid model, even after handing over to the State Government, it will run as one among the Government Medical Colleges in the above lines with a similar enhanced fee structure as determined from time to time."
Taking note of the issue, the DMK President M.K.Stalin had demanded the Tamil Nadu government to reduce the fees charged by two government medical colleges – Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Chidambaram, and IRT Perundurai Medical College, to fees charged by other state-owned medical colleges.
In a statement issued earlier, Stalin had said that the government has hiked the fees in these two colleges like private medical colleges putting the poor students into immense difficulties.
Stalin had added that the fees charged by government medical colleges are Rs.13,670 (medical course) and Rs.11,610 (dental course) whereas the fees at the former IRT Perundurai Medical College had been fixed at Rs.3.85 lakh.
As per the latest media report by The Hindu, more than 150 medical students of the institution had earlier staged a sit-in protest inside the college campus demanding a reduction of the fees. However, the college authorities had paid no heed to the many representations done by the medicos. As a result, the students had been forced to borrow money to pay the annual fee of Rs 3.85 lakh along with hostel and other fees worth more than Rs 3 lakh every year.
The medicos have once again resorted to protest on Thursday and raised slogans and demanded to change the fee structure of the institution and make it on par with other Government medical colleges. After raising slogans for an hour the students went back to the college.