KATHMANDU, Jan 31: Tribhuvan University (TU) authorities are unable to take action against the medical colleges which have been charging additional fees to the students against the rules. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is also helpless regarding this issue.
Terming them as mafia, crusader for medical reforms Dr Govinda KC has demanded action against the medical colleges charging additional fees against the ceiling fixed by the government.
"They should be charged with black marketing and cheating," Dr KC said in a statement Monday evening. "We have reports that clearly show that the medical colleges affiliated to Kathmandu University earlier charged fees more than the ceiling fixed by the government and Birat Medical College admitted students exceeding the seats allocated by the Nepal Medical Council."
According to TU's policy, registration of the medical colleges which do not abide by rules can be canceled.
However, TU authorities are reluctant to take action against the medical colleges citing lack of evidence.
"We are unable to take action against the medical colleges directly," said Prof Dr JP Agrawal, dean of IOM. "If we receive written complaints mentioning the details of the applicants, colleges and the fees charged by the colleges, then we can call a meeting of education council and forward it to the TU executive council for action," Dr Agrawal said. "But we have not received any formal complaint yet," he added.
There have been frequent complaints about private colleges charging additional fees against the rules. But the complaints are often anonymous and lack other necessary details required for charging the colleges, sources at the IOM told Republica.
The government has fixed Rs 3.85 million in the Kathmandu Valley and Rs 4.24 million outside the valley as the total fee for MBBS course in private medical colleges. The colleges can only charge additional fees under the sub-head of exam fees, hostel charges and food charges. However, some of the private colleges were reported to have charged additional fees between Rs 800,000 to Rs 1.2 million as admission fee.
Office of the IOM Dean has made provision for students to pay 50 percent of the total fees during the time of admission through the online system and sends them to the respective colleges. But the colleges later charge an additional fee as admission fee, complained the students.
Prof Dr Tirtha Raj Khaniya, vice chancellor of TU, said that they have received only verbal complaints about the additional fees.
"We need evidence to take action," said VC Khaniya. "We have ensured admission of students directly from the TU. So, we urge the students not to pay any additional fees. Nobody will stop them to take their classes and they should attend the classes without any fear. If they are not allowed to take classes, we will take action," he added.
The classes of MBBS originally scheduled to begin from November 17 for the current academic session is starting from February 1.
There are seven medical colleges under IOM, which has allocated a total of 660 seats for MBBS this year. According to IOM, it recommended 90 seats for KIST Medical College (Lalitpur), 100 seats for Nepal Army Medical College (Kathmandu Valley), 80 for Janaki Medical College (Janakpur), 90 for Gandaki Medical College (Pokhara), 90 for National Medical College (Birgunj), 100 for Universal College of Medical Science (Bhairahawa), and 90 seats for Chitwan Medical College (Chitwan). Besides these seats, IOM itself has an enrollment capacity of 75 seats for MBBS.