Govt gives overcharging medical colleges 24 hours to refund students

Published On: November 26, 2019 08:51 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 26: The government on Monday issued a 24-hour ultimatum to medical colleges to refund the illegally charged MBBS fees to the students in the last academic session.

A meeting of ministries concerned held at the Ministry of Home Affairs instructed the private medical colleges to return the illegally charged amounts by Tuesday. If medical colleges default on the Tuesday deadline, they will be charged with defrauding the students, according to officials. 

An earlier 15-day deadline issued to the colleges by the government expired on Sunday. 

Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, Home Minsiter Ram Bahadur Thapa, Attorney General Agni Kharel and Nepal Police chief Sarbendra Khanal among others were present at Sunday’s meeting, which was held to discuss what action to take against the defiant medical colleges.

Following the discussion, Home Minister Thapa instructed the District Police Offices to arrest the owners of the overcharging medical colleges if they refuse to refund the extra fees to students by Tuesday.

As per the government rules, private medical colleges established outside Kathmandu can charge up to Rs 4.2 million per MBBS student. But students have claimed that the colleges have charged them up to Rs 5.5 million.

“Victim students have already been asked to lodge complaints at the District Police Offices concerned along with the evidences of overcharging. We will start legal action if the colleges fail to refund the additional fees to students by Tuesday,” said Home Ministry spokesman Kedarnath Sharma. 

A few weeks ago, a cabinet meeting had asked victim medical students to file complaints at the District Administration Offices or District Police Offices. Some students also filed complaints but no action has been taken. Consequently medical students and their guardians have been protesting at the medical colleges in Chitwan and Birgunj since the past few days accusing the government of not taking action and protecting the medical colleges. 

Birgunj-based National Medical College, Universal College of Bhairahawa, Gandaki Medical College of Pokhara and Chitwan Medical College have been accused of overcharging the students. 

Students of the Birgunj-based National Medical College (NMC) have been staging a sit-in after some senior students manhandled the agitating students.

A study conducted by the National Vigilance Center (NVC), an  anti-graft body under the Office of the Prime Minister,  had concluded that private medical colleges had illegally collected at least Rs 3 billion from students in the last academic session and recommended stringent action.

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