The admission process for post-graduate medical and dental courses scheduled to commence in Bangalore on Saturday has been postponed after in-service candidates (doctors working in government hospitals) refused to participate in the seat selection process in protest against the steep fee hike for the courses.
Seat selection will now be held from April 23 after the candidates take up the fee hike issue with the government. The counselling process for candidates who had appeared for the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) post-graduate entrance test (PGET), will now commence from April 27.
The Department of Medical Education (DME) had recently announced that the annual fees for PG courses in medical and dental studies in private colleges for the academic year 2004-05 would range between Rs 1.35 lakh and Rs 2 lakh. This is a 20-fold increase compared to last year's fees, when in-service candidates had to pay only Rs 10,000 per annum. The revised fee structure was issued as per directions of the Justice A B Murgod Fee Committee, constituted by the government to regulate the fee structure in professional colleges.
The drama unfolded early on Saturday when candidates who had arrived at the Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell, the venue of the seat selection process, decided to boycott the counselling process and take up the fee hike issue with the committee and also the government.
The candidates led by Karnataka Government Medical Officers Association Secretary K Srinivasa Murthy said it was beyond the means of government doctors to pay Rs 2 lakh per annum as tuition fees to take up post-graduate studies.
The decision to postpone the seat selection process was taken after Medical Education Secretary H Siddaiah held discussions with the candidates.
The seat selection for in-service candidates will be held on April 23 and 24 and for PGET candidates it will be held from April 27 to 29 (medical). For dental students it will be held on April 29.