While fees in central government-run colleges such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) are Rs 1,628 and Rs 7,620, in Maharashtra’s civic- and government-run colleges, the annual fees include Rs 94,400 in tuition fees, Rs 5,000 in development fees, and the remaining as library, admission, gymkhana and hostel charges. Over a decade ago, the cumulative annual fees hovered around Rs 10,000 for several years.
Around 2010, the state government decided to increase fees by 10% every year, said former director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), Dr Pravin Shingare. “The annual fee for government engineering colleges was around Rs 40,000 then, and the medical education minister decided that it cannot be on the lower side for MBBS, where the state spends more. It was, therefore, decided to increase fees by 10% every year. But the fee-paying population in our state’s colleges is only 25% and it has never been opposed,” said Shingare. He said that 65% of the state’s budget for government medical colleges goes in the salary component.
While the state decides the fee structure for government colleges, the ones run by the municipal corporation — GS Medical College (KEM), LTMG College (Sion), etc — follow it. Former dean of KEM Hospital Dr Avinash Supe said, “There are discrepancies in the fees decided by every state, but the fee-paying population is very little in our state. Revenue from fees is very low, despite the higher amount. For instance, the annual budget for KEM is around Rs 400-450 crore, but the revenue from fees is only about Rs 20 crore,” said Supe. The corporation invests much more in academics, library, hostel and mess, he said.
Sudha Shenoy, a parent representative, said that though the government fees are not as high as in private colleges, the burden of higher fees falls on students from the open category.
“Several newer quotas have been introduced over the years, shrinking seats in the open category. Students from the other categories pay a fraction of the fees, which is also refunded by the state under various schemes. We have a higher number of seats in government colleges compared to other states or central universities. Hence, revenue should be higher from the total intake,” she said.