The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Medical fee ruckus in Mumbai

Mumbai, Sept. 11: About 30 Students’ Federation of India members were arrested here today after a lathicharge at St George’s Hospital where students had gathered to protest the high fee structure in Mumbai’s medical colleges.

Several students’ organisations, including the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Chhatra Bharati and Samyak, were present at the hospital.

SFI members were lathicharged after they tried to stall the centralised admission being held at the hospital precincts, demanding a change in the fee structure. At least 30 were arrested.

The protests have been stepped up since last night, when members of Samyak, an independent organisation not affiliated to any party, held a demonstration outside chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s house.

Nearly 30 ABVP activists were also picked up late last night.

The fees, which range around Rs 1 lakh per annum, have been increased by over 300 per cent. A student will now have to pay about Rs 3.5 to 4 lakh a year over the four-year MBBS course.

“My father’s savings, which were meant for my education, will prove inadequate. I will probably have to take up something else,” said Arun, who wanted admission at St George.

Many students from middle-class families said they may have to take up other professional courses or enter the general stream.

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