To make medical education more accessible in India, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has asked the private medical colleges to keep fees for 50 per cent of their seats at par with that of the government medical colleges of the particular state. These guidelines will be effective from the next academic session. The guidelines will have to be mandatorily implemented by the fee fixation committee of each state for their respective medical colleges.
The NMC issued an office memorandum on February 3, stating that it has been decided that the fees for 50 per cent of seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities should be on par with that of the government medical colleges of a particular state or Union Territory.
The benefit of this fee structure would first be made available to those candidates who have availed the government quota seats but are limited to the extent of 50 per cent of the total sanctioned strength of the institute.
If the government quota seats are less than 50 per cent of the total sanctioned seats, the remaining candidates would avail the benefit of having to pay a fee equivalent to that in government medical colleges, based purely on merit, the memo issued on February 3 stated.
According to section 10(1)(i) of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019, the panel shall frame guidelines for the determination of fees and all other charges for 50 per cent of the seats in private medical institutions and deemed-to-be universities governed under the provisions of this legislation.
The Centre had requested the erstwhile Board of Governors in supersession of the erstwhile MCI to prepare the draft fee-fixation guidelines for the consideration of the NMC, as and when constituted. An expert committee was constituted by the BoG-MCI on November 23, 2019 and later, by the NMC.
The expert panel recommended 26 broad draft guidelines for the determination of fees for the MBBS and post-graduation courses and other charges for private medical colleges and deemed-to-be universities. The guidelines were uploaded on the NMC website on May 25 last year, inviting public comments. Approximately 1,800 responses were received.
Another expert panel, constituted on October 21, 2021 by the NMC, examined the responses and submitted the revised draft guidelines. The recommendations of this panel were accepted by the NMC at its meeting on December 29 last year. According to the principles that would be followed in fixing the fees and other charges in private medical colleges and deemed universities, no institution should charge a capitation fee in any form or manner.
It needs to be ensured that the principle of education is “not for profit" is strictly adhered to. Therefore, all operating costs and other expenses for running and the maintenance of the institutions must be covered in the fees. Excessive expenses and exorbitant profit components should not be allowed to be added to the fees, according to the principles.