Raja Muthiah Medical College: Demand for MBBS, MD, MS Fee revision continues
Chennai: Protests for fee revision at erstwhile Raja Muthiah Medical College Hospital (RMMCH), now Cuddalore Medical College seem to be never-ending. Demanding that the tuition fees at the institute for the running year be brought on a par with other State Government Medical Colleges, around 250 medicos observed a sit-in protest at the Directorate of Medical Education.
The students have also decided to boycott the examinations announced by Annamalai University, to which the college was affiliated before.
Previously Medical Dialogues team reported that the students had been protesting against the hefty medical fee charged for medical and dental courses for almost one month but then the authorities instructed that all the classes would remain suspended for undergraduate and postgraduate students till further notice. The authorities also clarified that 'unauthorized stay' in either the campus or the hostel would not be entertained.
Following the shutting down of the college, the government finally issued an order in January stating that the college would be taken over by the government. The college which was previously under Annamalai University would be affiliated with Dr. MGR Medical University and would come under the ambit of the state Department of Health and Family Welfare. After a long protest of almost one month, the protesting medicos called off their protest on February 4 after the government passed the order announcing its decision of taking over the college.
The Government fixed the MBBS course fee to be Rs 13,610 per annum (pa) and Rs 30,000 pa for MD/MS courses on par with other government colleges in the state. However, to a great surprise of the medicos, the college recently issued direction a few days ago instructing them to pay the course fee which they were supposed to pay before the government order. Thus, the students ultimately were asked to pay Rs 5.4 lakh pa for the MBBS course and Rs 9.6 lakh pa for MD/MS courses, the fee structure against which they had been vocal for so long. So, the fee demanded by the medical college is almost 30 times higher than that of government medical and dental colleges.
While the government orders regarding this have been out since February 1, 2021, there has been no move to implement it. The students claimed that on the contrary, the Annamalai University had scheduled exams on March 23, which all 1,300 UG and PG students boycotted.
As per the latest media report by The Hindu, the student council belonging to the medical college and its other associated institutes have recently made a representation to the DME for their demands. They have further requested the DME to conduct their examinations by the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University as per Government Order 45 issued on February 1. They have further clarified that as per the GO, their fees should be on a par with other Government medical and dental colleges of the State.
Mentioning that the Government could intervene to fix the reasonable fees for the academic years 2019-2020 and 2020-21, the students further said that the Annamalai University had withheld the results of examinations and certificates pending payment of the entire fee, reports The Hindu.
The council has further informed that the results and certificates of students belonging to 2013 to 2020 and of the current students have also been withheld. They have also claimed that the University didn't pay a stipend to PG students for the last two years.
"Even after handing over of medical & dental college to Department of Health and Family Welfare, Annamalai University is demanding 30 times the fee from students. This is a violation of the GO. The University has no role to demand fees from students after handing over the college to the Department. Annamalai University has informed students that exam results and certificates will be withheld until the entire fee demanded by the university is paid by students," said Dr Praveen, one of the protesting students told Edex Live. "Results and certificates of already course completed students from 2013 to 2020 and currently studying students has been withheld by university demanding to pay exorbitant fees. PG students' stipend has been not paid by the college for the past two years," said the protestors.