The state government promulgated an ordinance on Tuesday making it mandatory to make admissions to all medical courses from the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET), including self-financing medical colleges, strictly on the basis of inter se merit. The ordinance has proposed that the managements should provide fee subsidy to at least 20 per cent of students belonging to the BPL/Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC). The Kerala Medical Education (Regulation and Control of Admission to Private Medical Educational Institutions) Ordinance 2017 also has provision for forming a committee headed by a retired judge to regulate the admission, fees and reservation in self-financing colleges.
The state has such a committee headed by Justice Rajendra Babu. The two committees proposed by the ordinance, namely admission regulatory committee and fee regulatory committee would be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or High Court. The secretaries of higher education, health and law departments, commissioner for entrance examination and an educational expert belonging to SC/ST community will be members of the admission supervisory committee. In case of the fee regulatory committee, either health or higher education department secretary, a chartered accountant nominated by the government, representative of the Medical Council of India, a member of the All India Council for Technical Education and an educational expert nominated by the government will be the members.
The ordinance has proposed certain criteria for fixing the fee structure, including location of the college, nature of the professional course, cost of land and building, available infrastructure, teaching, non-teaching staff and equipment, expenditure on administration and maintenance, reasonable surplus required for growth/development of the institution and other factors like cost of fee subsidy to students belonging to BPL/SEBC categories. The ordinance will give the committee the right to impose a fine of Rs 2 crore in case of violations, including the collection of capitation fee. The committee will also have the power to cancel the admission of such candidates and also debar them from appearing in examinations. It can withdraw the affiliation or recognition of the colleges found violating the guidelines.