Jharkhand got back 100 MBBS seats slashed by the Medical Council of India (MCI) after the Union health ministry’s intervention, state health minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi said on Friday.
The MCI had slashed MBBS seats from 100 to 50 at Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), Dhanbad and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (MGMCH), Jamshedpur in May over teacher and infrastructure shortage. Only the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi was allowed to retain its 150 seats.
MBBS seats in three state-run medical colleges came down to 250 from 350 after the MCI action.
Chandravanshi said, “MBBS seats have been restored at PMCH and MGMCH. We will conduct courses on 350 seats. I was informed of the development on the phone by a ministry official.”
Principal secretary (health) K Vidyasagar said, “Received the order from the Government of India on increase in MBBS seats. (I) have asked the state examination board to hold counselling for the (restored) seats on September 28.”
Vidyasagar said he received the order in an e-mail from the Union ministry and the letter might reach his office by Monday.
The development followed Chandravanshi’s meeting with union health minister JP Nadda in Delhi on September 23. He met Nadda after the Jharkhand high court directed the state government to apprise the Centre of the steps taken to address the inadequacies pointed out by the MCI.
The HC told the Centre to decide on the state’s plea for MBBS seats within two days that ended on Friday.
“I had apprised the union minister that we had complied with MCI norms. The MCI was being harsh with us despite our best efforts. The union ministry intervened and asked the MCI to take back its order,” said Chandravanshi.
A senior health of ficial said the MCI was not ready to withdraw its order, especially after an inspection of the PMCH and MGMCH on September 12 following an HC directive.
In its report to the court, the MCI had censured the appointment of medical officers from the non-teaching Jharkhand health services cadre as tutors and professors to fill vacancies.
The report had also pointed out anomalies in promotions of 75 teachers as assistant and associate professors.