A week before the first seat allotment list for postgraduate (PG) medical courses in Maharashtra is about to be released, the state medical education department has invited opinions from all stakeholders regarding the implementation of the National Medical Commission’s (NMC) 50% fee control in private and deemed medical institutes. The move comes at a time when PG medical aspirants and their parents have been demanding for clarity on the matter, especially with the admission process underway.

“Every year admissions get delayed because the state government or central admissions body does not clarify rules beforehand. Despite two circulars by the NMC this year, most state governments have not announced whether the rule will be applicable or not,” said Dr Harini Nair, a PG medical aspirant.

In March this year, NMC issued guidelines for private medical colleges to offer 50% of their seats to students at fees charged by government medical colleges. In the last week of July, NMC released another memorandum stating that these guidelines will be applicable to deemed-to-be institutes as well and that it will be implemented in 2022-23 itself.

Most colleges were unhappy with this move, prompting some deemed medical institutes in Tamil Nadu approach the Madras high court challenging a fee fixation memorandum, which eventually stayed the implementation of the fee diktat in the state. Similarly, the implementation of the same memorandum has been stayed in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as well.

College heads from private and deemed medical colleges from across Maharashtra have clarified that implementation of the rule will mean financial strain and losses to the institutes. “Unless the state government helps us with subsidies or financial aid, it is impossible for unaided institutes to give 50% of their seats on the fee structure of government medical colleges,” said Kamal Kishore Kadam, chairman of the Mahatma Gandhi Mission Institute of Health Sciences, and president of the Association of Managements of Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges of Maharashtra (AMUPMDC).

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will be hearing a petition against the implementation of the NMC fee regulation memorandum on September 30.

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