The Medical Council of India has decided yet again to invite views of state governments on a proposed common medical test, effectively killing hopes of students seeking a single test for post-graduate medical education this year.
The decision comes despite the health ministry and the MCI concluding that the common test would be opposed only by vested interests in select states, internal government documents available with HT reveal.
The SC on Sunday impleaded all state governments in a case where students — the petitioners — are seeking a common examination for entry to colleges across the country. The SC decision was based on a plea by the MCI seeking that state government be impleaded.
But the MCI and the health ministry had already consulted state governments, obtained their views, and had concluded that opposition from select states was linked to their private colleges, which mint money through their own examinations.
A note dated August 10, 2010 from health secretary Sujatha Rao to health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad states that the ministry asked all states for their response to the proposal. She added five states – Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka had not supported the proposal. “Of importance to note is, that these five states put together account for a majority of private medical colleges,” Rao’s note said.
The note also reveals that it was after taking into account the likely opposition that the health ministry had proposed the common test in August this year, raising questions about why the ministry backtracked later, putting the test on hold.