Chitwan Medical College students protest against additional feesMBBS students claim the college is charging Rs 1.2 to 2 million more than what is stipulated by the government.
Students of Chitwan Medical College in Bharatpur has been staging demonstrations in front of the college gate for the past nine days. The medical students accuse the college of charging them more fees than the amount fixed by the government.
The agitating students said the college is charging them an additional fee ranging from Rs 1.2 to 2 million to what is fixed by the government. Stating that the college’s move to charge an additional amount from students is unlawful, MBBS third-year student Robin Sah said, “The TU Institute of Medicine has fixed the MBBS fee at Rs4.24 million. But the medical college here is charging more than what’s stipulated.”
The Medical Education Struggle Committee, a committee formed by the agitating students of MBBS first, second and third year, has also submitted a memorandum to the Chitwan Medical College demanding that the college refund the additional fees within a month. They have also demanded the college return the extra fees charged from scholarship students.
However, the college administration has denied the allegations. Dr Haris Neupane, a promoter of the medical college, admitted that the college had charged some additional fees under headings such as examination, library, and miscellaneous activities. “But the tuition fee is Rs4.24. The college has been very transparent about that,” he said.
In 2017, the government had fixed Rs3.85 million for MBBS programmes inside Kathmandu Valley and Rs4.24 million outside the Valley.
According to Neupane, they have also published a public notice in various newspapers about the fee structure, including fees for examination, library and other activities.
“We have been charging a fee (examination and others) up to Rs600, 000 here,” said Neupane.
According to the college administration, the parliamentary committee has advised the college to return additional fees.
Stating that a team of the National Vigilance Centre has also inspected the college and studied about the fee structure, Neupane said that they would follow the government directive. “We don’t know why the students are holding this protest,” said Neupane.
On Wednesday, the District Police Office in Chitwan detained 15 MBBS students who were demonstrating in front of the college gate.
Superintendent of Police Dan Bahadur Malla said that they arrested the students as they tried to enter the hospital premises chanting slogans.
The college administration also issued a press release on Wednesday, saying that they are ready to address the students' demands through discussions. “It’s irresponsible and illegal on the part of the students to obstruct the hospital’s services and threaten college officials on the pretext of staging protests,” it reads.