The government has asked University Grants Commission (UGC) to set up a committee to regulate the tuition fee for medical courses offered by self-financed deemed universities.

The HRD Ministry, in a letter dated July 26, has nominated Sanjay Shrivastav, a retired professor of opthalmology, and B Srinivas, assistant director general at the Directorate of Health Services under the Health Ministry, to the committee. The Indian Express could not reach UGC’s acting chairman V S Chauhan for comment.

The proposed committee is being set up in compliance with the order of the Madras High Court, which is currently hearing a PIL seeking to fix tuition fee charged by deemed universities offering medical courses.

Currently, there are a total of 123 deemed universities across the country. Of these, about 30 offer medical courses. Among them are Manipal University, SRM University in Tamil Nadu, NIMHANS in Bengaluru and Jamia Hamdard University.

The PIL filed in Madras High Court said deemed universities offering medical courses were profiteering and operating with the sole intention of amassing wealth through unfair means. The plea has been admitted by the bench and all medical deemed universities in the state have been made respondents to the PIL.

The court also asked the government to set up a panel to regulate the fee charged by deemed universities offering medical courses, but the decision of the fee panel will abide by the final ruling on the PIL. Under the UGC [Institutions Deemed to be Universities] Regulation, 2016, the commission is empowered to fix the fee charged by deemed varsities.