Medical students staging protests in Bhairahawa. Photo: Republica
BHAIRAHAWA, Nov 3: Students of the Bhairahawa-based Universal College of Medical Sciences have started protests, demanding that the college return the additional fees it charged them.
The medical students started the protests on Thursday, against the exorbitantly high fees charged by the college against the fees set by the Tribhuvan University (TU). Last month, the government had directed the medical colleges under TU to return the additional fees charged to the students, but the colleges have been reluctant to return the amount, according to the students.
“We had registered an application at TU demanding the return of additional fees charged by the medical colleges. As the college is reluctant to return the additional fees charged to the students, we have to stage protests against the college,” a medical student at Universal College told Republica.
On Thursday, Universal College refused to receive a memorandum from the students. So, the agitating students submitted the memorandum to the District Administration Office. The students claim that the college administration had mobilized security forces while they tried to submit the memorandum. The students are staging the protests in front of the main entrance of the college.
Apart from staging protest, intern doctors are also wearing a black armband as a symbol of protest. Students say medical colleges are charging an additional Rs 1 million. Likewise, medical colleges are also charging Rs 10,000 as examination fee, instead of Rs 2,500 set by the government. Students also said intern doctors are getting a paycheck of Rs 9,000 – half the amount set by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) – from the college administration.
According to Mahadev Pantha, chief district officer (CDO) of Rupandehi, the administration will help the students get the additional fees back, if the medical college is charging additional fees against the amount set by the government. “The students have submitted an application to postpone the examination. But, the local administration can’t postpone the examination. The administration will discuss the issue with the stakeholders if the students come up with proof that college administration is charging additional fees,” Pantha said.
Meanwhile, Khadga Bahadur Khatri, spokesperson for the District Administration Office, claimed that the security forces have not used force on medical students of the college.
Likewise, Sushil Gurung, information officer at the college, said that the students staged protests in front of the main entrance of the college. “Police had removed the protesters from the main entrance,” he said, adding police officials didn’t use force on the students.
“The college administration is ready for discussions with the students. But, the students are not coming for discussion,” he added.