The six-decade-old laboratories of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) are facing an acute crisis of space. Built with a capacity to house 50 students in 1965, the labs are currently accommodating batches of 150 students, turning the learning centres into virtual beehives.
Despite several warnings from the Medical Council of India (MCI), which slashed 90 seats out of 150 in the 1990’s for the same reason, the state-run college never expanded its facilities.
“There is already an expansion plan in place. There will be new buildings and we have already said that we would meet the guidelines of the council,” said acting director RIMS, Dr SK Choudhary.
Not just labs as the state’s premier medical college’s central library too is suffering due to dearth of books to lend out to students and departmental libraries. “The library for each subject has just four books for an entire batch. The lucky few keep it for months while we are forced to buy them. For students from lower and middle income groups it is a burden of sorts,” said Sachin, a MBBS student.
Classrooms, which are as big as standard bedrooms, accommodate 100 to 75 students as against to 30 students for whom they were initially constructed for. At a time when contemporary medical colleges boast of air conditioned lecture theatres, RIMS has just two halls against a requirement of four halls.
The MCI, in its report asked the college, management to expand facilities, such as classrooms and halls or face dire consequences. The college, which got 150 seats in 2011, could get it slashed if guidelines of the council are left not met.
Quality of education too has suffered following dearth of faculty as no new recruitments have been made. The super speciality oncology department has just one professor. “The college has been regularly publishing advertisements for recruitments. It is a lengthy process,” said Choudhary.