Kathmandu, November 17
Department of Money Laundering Investigation raided three medical colleges today.
DMLI raided Nobel Medical College, Biratnagar, National Medical College, Birgunj, and Chitwan Medical College, Chitwan.
DMLI took the action acting on a report of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and National Vigilance Centre.
“The department has started investigation against the medical colleges for collecting extra fee. The medical
colleges have been ignoring to provide information as demanded. Therefore, these colleges were raided,” said a source on the condition of anonymity.
“The medical colleges which have been collecting extra fee from students will be punished as per the law. A fraud case will be filed against such medical colleges by mid-December,” the source added.
Speaking at an event organised today in the capital by National Youth Federation, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said, “Medical colleges are akin to mosquitoes. As mosquitoes suck blood from humans, medical colleges have been collecting extra fee from the students. Even the recently opened medical colleges have been earning high amount of money. Medical colleges must return the extra money taken from students. Medical colleges should abide by government rules.”
Earlier on November 11, the government had issued a 15-day ultimatum to medical colleges to return extra fee taken from students.
It has warned that fraud case will be filed against erring medical colleges if they failed to return the money taken from the students within the stipulated time.
Medical students have been protesting against exorbitant fee charged in violation of the government’s rule.
Students of Chitwan Medical College had ended their protest with the signing of an agreement with the college authorities on September 21, at District Administration Office, Chitwan. The government had given a month’s ultimatum to refund the extra fee on September 23.
A meeting was held at Chitwan District Administration Office between college students and college authorities. The agreement stated that either the college would return the extra fee taken from students or adjust the fee by November 4.
Students from Chitwan Medical College, Chitwan, Universal Medical College, Bhairahawa and National Medical College, Birgunj, had jointly staged protest in the capital in November as medical colleges refused to return the extra fee despite the government’s warning.
The government had put a cap on the amount colleges could collect from medical students.
A Cabinet meeting, last year, had capped the fee for MBBS course at Rs 3.85 million in Kathmandu valley and Rs 4.24 million outside the valley. However, colleges were found to be charging extra money under different headings.
The government increased the fee for MBBS and BDS programmes for this fiscal.
As per the revised fee structure, a Nepali student pursuing MBBS inside Kathmandu valley will have to pay Rs 4.02 million for a five-and-a-half-year programme and students pursuing MBBS outside Kathmandu valley will have to pay Rs 4.44 million.
A version of this article appears in print on November 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.