Govt moves to effect 70-90% reduction in fee in private medical colleges

The government has tasked the interim Board of Governors of the proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) with drafting guidelines for fee structure in private medical colleges so as to slash fees for half of graduate and post-graduate seats by 70 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively, say reports.

At present, the annual fees for 50 per cent of MBBS seats in private medical colleges range around Rs25 lakh. A 70 per cent reduction in fees would be a big relief for medical students.
With the process of constitution of National Medical Commission currently on, the union health ministry has asked the Board of Governors (BoG), vested with powers of the Medical Council of India (MCI), to prepare draft guidelines for the fee structure in private medical colleges and deemed universities from the next academic session, say reports.
The proposed reduction would bring down the fees for 50 per cent of MBBS seats in private medical colleges to Rs6 lakh to Rs10 lakh.
Currently, in a number of states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, MBBS students are charged Rs25 lakh annually.
The fee for the three-year PG courses in several medical colleges ranges between Rs1 crore and Rs3 crore.
The NMC Act, which provides for setting up of a National Medical Commission (NMC) in place of the Medical Council of India (MCI) for development and regulation of all aspects of medical education, profession and institutions. 
The BoG, an interim body looking after the work of the MCI, is learnt to have held consultations with states and sought their suggestions for framing draft guidelines for the fee structure.
The President had dissolved the Medical Council of India (MCI) in 2018 and a BoG was appointed to perform its functions.
The health ministry has now asked the Board of Governors to prepare draft guidelines for fee regulation so that it can be used as a base document by NMC, a senior health ministry official was quoted as saying.
The Clause 1 of sub-section (1) of section 10 of the National Medical Commission Act 2019 empowers the Commission to frame guidelines for determination of fees and all other charges in respect of 50 per cent of seats in private medical institutions and deemed to be universities under the NMC Act 2019.
The ministry has also asked private medical and dental colleges across the country to charge fee for only the first year from students at the time of admission. The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 had no provision for regulation of fees in private medical colleges.
At present, some states regulate fees of some seats in private colleges through MoUs signed with college managements. In addition, the Supreme Court has set up committees chaired by retired high court judges to fix fees in private colleges as an interim measure. Deemed to be universities claim they are not covered by these committees.
Nearly 50 per cent of total MBBS seats in the country are in government colleges, which charge only nominal fees. Of the remaining seats, 50 per cent would be regulated by NMC.
This means that almost 75 per cent of total seats in the country would be available at reasonable fees.