What if the medical college you have been admitted to fails to pass inspections by the Medical Council of India? What happens to the students pursuing the tough MBBS courses in such institutes?
The attempt by Harsukhdeep Singh to take his life outside the home of the Punjab medical education minister in 2014 went largely unnoticed by the media. He wanted to highlight his problems as well as that of 149 other MBBS batchmates, in Chintpurni Medical College, Pathankot, which was started in 2011. The college failed to get MCI’s permission to admit a fresh batch in 2012 because of lack of faculty and clinical facilities. When the college failed the subsequent inspections as well, Singh and other students grew increasingly worried about the status of their degrees.
Worried that their qualifications would not be recognised on the right platforms, Singh and his batchmates had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in January 2014 for a valid degree.
“We came to know that the state government had the power to shift us to other approved colleges. On our plea, court ordered the state government to do so and outline a plan. When the state government came out with the plan, MCI said the state government should first close down the college. Upset with MCI’s stand, in January 2016, the high court fined the MCI Rs1 lakh and asked it to clear its stand. The MCI is yet to approve the state’s plan to shift students and matter is still pending,” says a parent of one of the students.
And instead of tackling the tough MBBS course the students have been kept busy with court litigation for the last two years. “We have skipped our final exam in December 2015 because the degree status is not clear. Most of the students have taken education loans. While the MCI, the state government and Centre are locked in their own battles and the matter is lingering in the court, we are the real sufferers. We got admission after clearing state pre-medical test. Who should I blame for shattering my dreams of becoming a doctor?,” asks Singh.