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Mumbai, Jun 16: The chaos surrounding fees and admissions for medical and engineering colleges is only getting worse with private colleges and the government hardening their stands. Defiant managements of private colleges have once again raised their favourite threat—to shut down if their demands are not met.

For medical colleges, the problem stems from the delay in fixing of fees by the state government-appointed fee-regulatory authority, the Shikshan Shulk Samiti, which was formed late in the academic year.

Although the term of the previous chairperson ended in December last year, the new committee was constituted only in April this year. It has not yet declared the fee structures for engineering or medical colleges.

The fault does not lie with the Samiti alone. "Private colleges should have submitted their proposed fees in December to give the Samiti ample time to verify the fees," said Umakant Amritwar of the Parents Association of Medical Students.

"The fees will be decided by the colleges in the next few days. We are holding a meeting on June 16," said Kamalkishore Kadam, chairperson of the Association of Managements of Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges (AMUPMDC).

The managements have said that if the Samiti then settles on a fee less than what has been demanded by the colleges they would have to shut down because it would become unviable for them to run the colleges.

As a result, students will go for admissions without knowing what the final fees will be, making the choice of college a gamble. Sources in the government's medical education department said that the colleges were likely to charge a "tentative" fee, most likely last year's, and make students pay up the difference once the fees were fixed.

The sources indicated that fees were likely to rise by an average of 15% for private medical colleges. In addition, in March this year, the Supreme Court struck down the fee structure fixed last year, opening the door for students to approach them for a refund of fees to the tune of around Rs 18 crore.

Even as PAMS seeks a clarification from the state government, private colleges have refused to pay any such refund, threatening to shut down their colleges if forced to do so.

With respect to engineering colleges, the HC on Wednesday declined to give interim relief to the Association of Management of Unaided Engineering Colleges.

With a majority of private colleges opting to go with the state CET, the fate of 21 colleges remains undecided and the final picture is likely to be clear on Monday.

A representative of the AMUEC told TOI that the admission process cannot go ahead without the status of all private colleges being perfectly clear.

The fees for engineering colleges will be announced on June 30, principal secretary (higher and technical education) Joyce Shankaran sa id.


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