National Medical College of Birgunj has been found to have charged Rs 1.286 million in additional fees from a single MBBS student.
National has charged Rs 598,000 as additional annual fee, and Rs 688,000 in mess and hostel charges last month from students of the 15th batch for the academic session 2015/16, according to documents received by Setopati.
The Cabinet meeting on October 14, 2018 had set a fee of Rs 3.85 million for MBBS students inside the Kathmandu Valley, and Rs 4.245 million outside the Valley.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) under the Tribhuvan University (TU) prohibits the medical colleges affiliated to it from charging any additional fees on top of that. But National has charged Rs 1.286 million more than that with utter disregard to the Cabinet decision and the IOM instructions.
National has been illegally charging extra fees from the last year. “We applied with the college administration to not charge extra fees, and to return the extra fees already collected but to no avail,” a student from the 18th batch told Setopati. The student claimed that the college collected extra fees threatening to stop the students from appearing in the final examinations.
Students have complained about National with the IOM, that has provided affiliation to National, but to no avail. The student claimed that IOM Dean Dr Jagadish Prasad Agrawal refused to lodge the complaint and turned the students away asking them to file a fraud case with the police.
The fee list of college provided to Setopati by the students of the 18th batch shows that National has determined the fee for the batch at Rs 5,585,600.
The IOM can register the complaint and can take action against the medical college by sending that to the district administration office. The Cabinet decision allows the administration to punish the offending medical colleges for fraud.
But the students are reluctant to go to the administration fearing their identity will be revealed and the college will create problems in the future. “The body where we can go is the IOM that determines fees and seats for the colleges,” the student pointed.
IOM Dean Dr Agrawal, on the other hand, claimed that no student has come with complaint of additional fees. He added that the IOM is not the authorized body to take action for charging additional fees, and pointed that one can directly go to the administration with a fraud case.
“We will take academic action if collection of additional fees is proved. We take the colleges to the TU board through the monitoring directorate and senate,” he added.