Jan 30, 2010
Question asked :
Hello Dr. Saha
Thanks for making your column interactive. I've a question.
Recently we saw some controversy in Tripura after management of a Medical college was taken over from Genet. People complained about very high fees.
A student may end up paying 18-20 lac rupees to get MBBS. Virtually this means no poor or lower middle class can afford to study in this college. A student from middle class will be under huge loan to study.
What is your comment on this? Are such fees justified?
Dear Anonymous Friend,
Thank you for bringing up this very pertinent still very controversial question. In fact the question relates to the fundamental education policy of our country. There had been lots of debate /apprehension before we stepped in to privatization .In order to come out of an economic disaster nation went ahead with the policy of privatization of almost every department related to economic development of the country. And fortunately it clicked for India. And we are able to continue with near 10% growth rate and made the world looking at us with some dignity. The basic strength was our knowledge industry. Privatization of our education industry made an essential component of our national policy. Look into the primary education. You will agree with me that private schools are the centre of best of primary and secondary education of our country yet they charge very high. And of course they have produced the best of the students/scholars too.
Coming to the medical education the policy could not be different. Govt. went ahead with the policy as they were unable to invest enough to build many expensive medical institutions to meet the growing demand. Like any other private institution, these Medical colleges are self financed which involves huge cost both for building and running. Hence charging a higher fee (about 2-3.5 lac/year) to sustain the expenditure has been approved by the respective machinery of UGC.
By saying so I am not supporting any underhand money transaction which is in practice and we were unable to contain. This is more of a failure of our political industry and can be easily branded as corruption as it is random in every other department. The fee as such is about 10-12 lac for the whole course. Making our vigilance/anti-corruption system more effective-needs more public involvement.
In my view merit,not the economy should be the only criteria for admissions in any medical college ( limiting my talk in medical field).Those who cannot afford the fee of a private medical college should obviously got to take his chances in Govt. colleges. Recollecting the memory of a time when medical aspirants in Tripura had to wait for few dozens seats given by central govt. and there were many unsung talents. Now there are odd 2500(approximate.) seats open to all (CBSC PMT), in addition to Govt. MC and other central Institutions (AIIMS, NEGRIHMS, SHILLONG, JIPMER etc.
(** soon you will be able to read my career related article on Tricks and tips of getting a medical admission in student section)
Presence of lots of private seats in TMC ( G-Net) definitely has increased the chances for a student desirous of doing medicine but could not clinch a seat in govt. college .Of course parents has to shell- out part of their hard earned money.
Suppose G-net was not there what this poor student mass would have done?
My opinion is we need to prevent corruption during admission like, resisting paying donations/and a strong vigilance over the admission tests. Official fee as permitted is justified for sustenance.
I hope and believe with the G-net converting into Tripura medical College, the things will look better under new managing. Hopefully ,it is going to be corruption free ,increasing the chances of the very poor strata of meritorious students.
Hope I could provide some clarity on this rather complicated and controversial issue.
Should you feel any further clarification on this rather general issue I will try to answer within my limited ability.
Thanks and regards
Dr Salil Saha
PS--please identify yourself. We will love to know you.