The Central government earned Rs 15.50 crore in 2018-19 through counselling for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions in medical colleges in the country, according to information received under the RTI.
The NEET is held for admission to MBBS, BDS and other such courses in medical colleges. Those who clear the written entrance exam are called for counselling, for which the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) started a registration fee of Rs 1,000 in 2018-19.
Replying to a RTI query by Neemuch-based activist Chandrashekhar Gaud, the Union Health Ministry said that from the 114,198 students, who registered themselves for counselling in 2018-19, a total of Rs 18,32,87,500 was collected as registration amount.
Of this, Rs 2,76,78614 were spent on conducting the counselling. The MCC deposited the remaining amount of Rs 15,56,08,886 in the Central government's account.
The Health Ministry also informed Gaud that the MCC decided to impose the registration fee on the advice of the Health and Family Welfare Department.
Gaud said the amount collected by the government as registration fee in 2018-19 and the interest earned on it was enough to conduct the counselling process for the next several years, and the government must therefore think about putting an end to the registration fee.