Bengaluru, June 25: The CPI-M-affiliated Students Federation of India’s (SFI) Karnataka unit on Friday opposed the steep hike in admission fee for seats in private medical and dental colleges across the state. “We have petitioned the state government to restrain the private medical and dental colleges from increasing the fee for students seeking admission under its quota, as it will be difficult for their parents to afford it,” SFI’s Karnataka president V. Ambarish told IANS here.

Under the government quota, 40 per cent of the seats in private professional colleges are reserved for students and admitted on the rank secured in the common entrance test (CET), conducted by the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA). At a meeting with parents, prospective students and social activists, the SFI has decided to approach the Karnataka High Court for a stay if the government fails to stop the private colleges from hiking the fee by as much as 29 per cent. (ALSO READ: NEET-II to be held on July 24: CBSE)

“We want the central government to amend the laws for a uniform fee structure in private professional colleges across the country, at least on quota seats so that meritorious students are saved from being fleeced,” Ambarish said. In a memorandum submitted to state Medical Education Minister Sharanprakash Patil earlier in the day, the SFI urged the government to direct the private colleges to admit rank students for this academic year on the prescribed fee.

“As many private colleges in the state are owned and run by politicians, including lawmakers and ministers through educational trusts or societies, admissions to 60 per cent of the seats are made through capitation fee or donations under the management quota, which includes 10 per cent for non-resident Indian students,” Ambarish lamented.

Admitting that the fee hike proposed by the private colleges was prohibitive and would affect the educational prospects of merit students, Patil told reporters that the government was persuading the managements to admit quota students as per the prescribed fee. “If the private colleges are allowed to hike the fee, students under quota will have to pay Rs 70,000 a year as against Rs 55,000 last year for a medical seat and Rs 45,000 per a dental seat as against Rs 35,000 last year.

Under the management quota, the private colleges have hiked the fee to Rs 4.25-5.75 lakh per year for a medical seat and Rs 2.75-3.90 lakh for a dental seat.