The government has committed to designating 75 percent scholarship seats in the state-funded medical colleges, as envisioned in the National Medical Education Act.
Giriraj Mani Pokharel Minister for Education, Science, and Technology, also the ex-officio pro-chancellor of universities, has led the Tribhuvan University to ensure that 75 percent of the MBBS seats are set apart for scholarship students.
The directive serves continuous student demonstrations setting forth an eight-point charter of demands, including implementation of the Act.
“The government commits to implementing the provision of 75 percent scholarship in line with the Act,” expresses the minister’s directive to the Tribhuvan University. The common entrance examinations for all the universities, though, will be carried from the next academic session, according to the directive.
The entrance test for medical colleges under Tribhuvan University is commencing on Saturday, while Kathmandu University is conducting the test in the third week of September. Based on the needs of the students, Pokharel has urged university authorities to set college fees right from the time of admission.
As per the directive, the students will present the vouchers of the money paid to their colleges at the university, which will correlate with the colleges.
The move, the ministry considers, will stop medical colleges from imposing excessive fees to the students. If the university administration follows the directive, students will not have to involve in financial dealings with colleges.
Pokharel, in the directive, has also urged the university authorities to announce the total fee for MBBS, including enrollment and examination. He also has urged the colleges to announce the hostel fee and cost of food in a national newspaper.
Anit Sinha, secretary of the students’ struggle committee told the Post that it is a good drive by Pokharel. Nevertheless, they want to see it get implemented.
The Act was brought to address the agreements with Dr. Govinda KC, an orthopedic surgeon at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, who has staged various hunger strikes in the past times, calling for an end to violations in the country’s medical education sector.
Students had resorted to protests and padlocked the Institute of Medicine under Tribhuvan University and Kathmandu University School of Medical Science, charging implementation of the Act, particularly the common entrance tests and the scholarship.
While the state-run medical colleges have to designate 75 percent scholarship quota, private medical colleges run with domestic resources need to reserve a 10 percent scholarship quota, and those run with a foreign investment need to reserve a 20 percent quota.
The Medical Education Commission has been established as per provision in the Act to deal with the issues associated with medical education. The commission, though, hasn’t come into a function as the government has still to designate the vice-chair who is its administrator’s head.
A recommendation committee headed by Umesh Prasad Mainali, who is the chairman of the Public Service Commission, has proposed three names for the post of vice-chair. The PM will designate one of the three individuals advised by the committee.