Parent continues his fight for transparency in medical fees

A parent has been running from official to official hoping to bring transparency in the fee structure of self-financing medical colleges.

Kantesh Kumar Singh’s woes began on August 29, 2017, when his daughter was allotted a seat in a self-financing college in Kancheepuram district.

The college told him to pay Rs. 7.10 lakh, instead of the Rs. 3.85 lakh stipulated by the government.

His queries on why the fee was almost double of what was mentioned in the university-issued prospectus did not get him satisfactory answers.

He then flagged the issue to the Directorate of Medical Education and later the Health Secretary, but it had no effect. He then approached the Fee Fixation Committee, which provided him with the government order on the break-up of fees charged. Mr. Singh took up the issue again with the DME and the Health Secretary, who directed the DME to constitute a committee.

Mr. Singh’s daughter, a CBSE student, qualified in NEET in 2016 with 383 marks, and in 2017 she scored 338 marks. Unhappy with the college’s response to their queries, she chose not to join it. But Mr. Singh decided to seek answers from the university.

His persistence paid off when the committee provided him with a copy of the Government Order on the fee fixation committee proceedings.

Five-hour inquiry

In November 2017, the DME’s office informed him to accompany the inquiry committee to the college. A five-hour inquiry was held on November 14 and a report was submitted.

Despite his repeated requests and through RTI, the DME did not provide the complainant with a copy of the report. He also wrote to the Governor-Chancellor’s office about his travails and is awaiting a response.

Last Thursday, he finally met the committee’s chairman, who told him to bring his daughter as she was a major, Mr. Singh said. “I told him as her father I have been the victim and I have filed the complaint, where is the need for me to bring my daughter,” he asked. “My daughter has chosen a different path. She is studying biotechnology and wants to pursue research. But in the interest of others like her I would like to ensure that the report of the inquiry is made public,” he said.

His demands are: there should be no ambiguity in the fee structure details in the university prospectus; it should contain a break-up of the fee as mentioned in the G.O., and a centralised grievance system for students and parents should be constituted.

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