In an unprecedented decision, the Uttarakhand committee for fixation of fee structure of private educational institutions has slapped a fine of Rs 15 crore on Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical and Health Sciences (SGRRIMHS) for “charging fee at their whims” from the students of batch 2016-17. The medical college has been in the eye of a storm for “arbitrarily” raising the fee of students.
The fee fixation committee (FFC) has asked the medical college, which has 150 students, to submit a fine of Rs 10 lakh per student of the 2016-17 MBBS course batch.
According to the sources, the panel took the decision following several complaints from the students to the medical education department and the state government. Students of the current batch of the medical college have also been protesting against its decision to hike fee from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 19 lakh per year.
“The committee has slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh per student on SGRRIMHS for charging fee from the students apart from the one decided by the fee fixation committee. The fine is applicable for the 2016-17 batch students,” said a senior official present at the FFC meeting.
Bhupendra Raturi, senior PRO of the college, said, “Our institute had already informed the high court that the fee decided by the state government was six-year-old though it is revised every third year. The college had informed about the fee hike to the students and 90% students had agreed to it.”
The college had earlier challenged the FFC’s old fees structure, claiming that it needed revision. After students and parents moved court, the matter reached the Uttarakhand high court where it is sub-judice.
Reacting to the FFC order, the patron of Private Medical University Joint Parents’ Association, Ravindra Jugran, said, “It is a welcome move though it has come extremely late. After several hundred complaints from all the corners, FCC took the decision now. The students will get justice now.”
Meanwhile, students of SGRRIMHS informed TOI that they were called inside the college’s administrative block on Monday night, soon after the FFC order, and asked to sign a letter which read: “We gave fee as per our convenience and this can also be verified from our receipts of the past two years. We further affirm that we were not forced to pay the excess tuition fee at any time by the college authorities nor did they debar us from classes/exams. Any action taken by the state government against the college is not acceptable and regrettable because it is unlawful activity.”
Students said they were under extreme stress amid all this and were also supposed to appear in their exams beginning this week.