Kochi: The inept handling of the medical admission this year by the LDF government culminated in the Supreme Court verdict on Monday handing Rs 11 lakh fee on students and it is to be seen how the reassurance on Monday by the Chief Minister to support the poor translates into real relief. The High Court had ratified Rs 5 lakh as fee on July 17, a day after the first allotment process began, but the government failed to include private medical colleges in it giving enough room till August 8 when the second allotment began, for the colleges to move courts and land it in legal tangle.
Much before all that MES chief Dr Fazal Gafoor had led the majority of the private medical colleges to the government camp for striking an agreement but the government dithered on reaching one. According to Dr Fazal Gafoor himself, senior officials in the government misled the Health Minister into believing that in the light of NEET, agreements between government and managements will not stand this year. “Then the government got the advice to wait and watch what neighbouring states do. By this time KMCT and Sree Narayana got their act together in another way demanding to raise the fee which attracted other colleges. By the time the Minister got feedback of other states signing agreements, it was late to get others. That was how the whole process of signing agreements was derailed. The officialdom who advised the Minister and Ministry should be taken to task,” Dr Fazal Gafoor said.
By the end of July the government made itself a laughing stock by inviting managements for talks through a newspaper advertisement. A major flop on the part of the Admission and Fee Regultory Committee headed by Justice James and succeded by Justice Rajendra Babu since last December I was in arriving at the final fee for the private medical colleges after tabulating their accounts. The Government also gave no thought into this. The Kerala High Court in last year’s admissions had allowed a fee of Rs 10 lakh for KMCT and Kannur medical colleges in 85 percent seats pending final fixation of the fee by the Fee Regulatory Committee based on their income and expenditure. But the Fee Regulatory Committee never looked into that and according to reports, when the Supreme Court took up the case on Monday, the judges were under the impression that last year’s fee was Rs 10 lakh and the Government lawyer was in no position to effectively counter this as there was no fee arrived at after tabulation by the committee.