The Punjab Government has ultimately concluded on including private medical universities under the regulation of fees chargeable by medical education institutes. As per the Punjab Private Health Sciences Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission, Fixation of Fees and Making of Reservation) Act 2006, the regulations were only applicable to private medical colleges and excluded private medical universities or deemed to be universities.
The previous regulations formed a loop-hole which had been exploited by the private medical colleges. Due to the vague regulations on the reservation of seats, fixation of fees and admission regulations, the private medical colleges were able to charge exorbitant fees from the students.
Keeping in mind the changes that are required in the Act, a Punjab Private Health Sciences Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission, Fixation of Fees and Making of Reservation) Amendment Bill 2020 has been drafted. Sources claim that the Bill will be presented in the budget session on 20th Feb 2020. It is expected to see the changes coming into force from the next academic session after the House passes the Bill.
Once the Amendments come into force, the Punjab Government will be able to regulate the medical education fees which can be charged by medical colleges across the state. This includes all private medical educational institutions that have not been established by the State/Central Government, including Universities, Deemed Universities, Colleges, that are aided/un-aided and non-minority institutes run privately.
After the approval of the Amendment Bill, all private medical educational institutions will be required to adhere by the reservation quota as specified by the State Govt. This means colleges will be required to reserve seats for SC/ST for admissions in open merit category and management quota seats.
Various stakeholders of the industry have lauded the step taken by the government, stating the change was in the pipeline for a long time. This will reduce the burden on medical aspirants and the confusion which had been created over the years.