Delhi just got its sixth medical college. Jamia Hamdard is finally launching an MBBS course, the entrance test for which was held on July 15. GN Qazi, vice-chancellor, spoke to HT Education about the Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences & Research. Excerpts:
How many applications did you receive for the pre-medical entrance test? What's the profile of applicants?
We received more than 3,000 applications despite the short period for completing the process. We got hardly two weeks — on June 29 we got Medical Council of India’s (MCI’s) approval and the aspirants had only about a week to apply. I am yet to receive all details on the applications. However, we expect that there will be almost equal representation of male and female candidates, in fact the number of female applicants is higher.
When there's talk of reducing the number of multiple college entrances, why did Jamia Hamdard decide to give its own medical entrance test, instead of using candidates' scores obtained in one of the major competitions like AIPMT?
We will also adopt the national test scores for the future. But as of now it is open for the universities to have their own test in place. I am told that NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test) is expected to be conducted by CBSE for all medical entrants for 2013 onwards as per Supreme Court's directions.
The fee is quite steep - Rs. 6 lakh a year for the general category and R15 lakh for management quota ones. Any financial help available for meritorious students?
Do you know how much it costs to train person to become a doctor? The actual cost is about R20 lakh per student per year. We are not a government organisation. We are not-for-profit.
It has been observed that performance in an entrance test does not demonstrate excellence. Maybe if we see someone outperforming others, we'll give support. When the breakeven happens, if any profit is made, part of it will be given back to students. But how? After graduation, for master's courses, there could be a preferential fee structure for such a student with the caveat that you do your residency at HIMSR for three years.
Will you start master's courses after your first batch graduates?
That's what the Supreme Court says. I heard that the MCI is reviewing it.
Any other plans?
First and foremost is the sustainability of this college for four years. We need to build another hospital with 400 beds. So, the teaching hospital (of HIMSR) has 350 beds and the additional 400 would make it 750. That's a requirement of the MCI. We are also constructing a new Majeedia Hospital (for BUMS training) building which would come up in the next eight months. It’ll be a state-of-the-art healthcare facility, purely for Unani medicine.
What about the dental college?
At least for the time being, we don't want to do dental education because Jamia Millia Islamia is doing that.
We have launched several paramedical courses which were earlier offered as diplomas. These diploma courses have been upgraded to degrees. We are phasing out the non-degree paramedical courses because there's not much career growth after those. Candidates who don't qualify for the MBBS course can opt for one of the new para-medical courses launched this year just by signing a consent form. After the 100 students are selected for medicine, there would be 400-odd who will be good but they couldn't get in. We'd like to tap that.