The state medical education and drugs department issued at least 40 government resolutions (GR) on a single day allowing nursing schools across the state to regularise courses that were being conducted illegally in 2012-13.
The GRs were issued hurriedly by deputy secretary Ashok Atram on March 18, permitting nursing schools to offer Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) and General Nurse Midwife (GNM) courses in the state for the academic year 2012-13 which is drawing to a close.
By doing this, the government has broken its own rule that educational institutes need to get permission for courses before they begin classes.
Students, who have passed their Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam in any stream can opt for the ANM course, while students only from the science stream are eligible for the GNM course.
As per the procedure laid down in the GR dated March 22, 2005, nursing training schools wanting to offer such courses are required to seek permissions from both the state government and the Indian Nursing Council, said Dr Rahul Jawanjal, government nominated member of Maharashtra Nursing Council.
Jawanjal, who had exposed corruption in the nursing council previously, said: “Why are permissions being issued at the end of the year? This amounts to regularising illegal admissions.”
Vijayraj Shinde, Shiv Sena MLA from Buldhana, said: “The deputy secretary has issued these GRs even as the chief minister issued his transfer orders. We had also complained about his behaviour last week.’’
Around 4,000 students are doing their ANM and GNM courses in the nursing colleges. Receiving permissions will help students to get scholarships between Rs.50,000 and Rs.60,000 from the social welfare department.
“These scholarships lapse by end of March. There is clearly a nexus between government authorities and the school owners,” added Shinde.
“MBBS aspirants have been fighting for the last one year against similar illegal admissions in medical colleges in 2012-13,” said Deepak Mane, a parent.
State medical education and drugs department secretary Meeta Lochen said: “I can only comment on it once I have verified the issue.”