KATHMANDU, March 22: Private medical colleges under the Tribhuvan University have agreed to return within a month fees that were charged illegally. An agreement was reached between the university and the medical colleges on Thursday in the presence of student organizations and officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, according to MoEST sources.
Talks in this connection were held among stakeholders after two student organizations belong to the ruling NCP padlocked the university vice-chancellor’s office and the office of the dean at the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
According to IOM, Rs 4.2 million was the fees ceiling for MBBS students. However, Pokhara-based Gandaki Medical College has been accused of charging an additional Rs 1-1.5 million from students. A case was filed at Kaski District Court against Gandaki Medical College.
KIST Medical College in Lalitpur was also reportedly charging illegal fees from students.
Representatives from TU, MoEST and the medical colleges will jointly monitor whether or not the illegally-charged fees are returned. The agreement among stakeholders was reached in the presence of Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel, according to ministry sources.
Following the agreement, the student unions unlocked the offices of the vice-chancellor and the dean, according to RC Lamichhane, secretary of All Nepal National Free Student Union (ANNFSU).
ANNFSU, which was earlier affiliated to the then CPN-UML, and All Nepal National Independent Student Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R), which was affiliated to the former CPN (Maoist Center), had padlocked the offices to protest the illegal fees.
The agreement reached includes making special managements for regular exams for the agitating students at Gandaki Medical College without hampering the academic calendar, and assuring ensuring the necessary security for the students.
However, it is suspected that the medical colleges are not going to return the illegally charged fees . “If they do not return the illegal fees, we will forward the procedures for taking against the medical colleges,” said Vice Chancellor Dr Tirtha Raj Khaniya. He was also involved in the agreement reached at MoEST.
Khuma Aryal, the chair of Gandaki Medical College, is meanwhile absconding.