Fate of 4,000 students uncertain as 32 private colleges fail Medical Council of India test
Just two colleges passed MCI’s inspections in November and December last yearUpdated: Jan 31, 2017 11:23 IST
Nearly 4,000 medical students in 32 new private colleges might find their institutes disqualified as these have failed to pass standard checks.
These are among 34 colleges approved by a Supreme Court-appointed oversight committee in May 2016, but debarred by the country’s medical education regulator for failing to meet required standards.
The committee, headed by retired judge RM Lodha, had overruled the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) decision with the condition that if these colleges fail another inspection, they cannot admit students for two years.
Subsequently these colleges admitted their first batch — 3,957 students — last summer. These students had cleared the national eligibility cum entrance test (NEET). Rules stipulate that these students — studying for their bachelors of medicine (MBBS) — should be moved to other medical colleges if their institutes get disqualified. But experts feel such an effort will be challenging.
“You can’t stretch facilities to accommodate so many students in other approved colleges. This will hamper studies of the students,” said KK Aggarwal, national president of the Indian Medical Association.
“If the oversight committee accepts the MCI report, it will have to address the concerns of students admitted to these colleges.”
The MCI and the oversight committee didn’t respond to requests for comments.
Trouble began for the students after the MCI conducted another round of inspection in those 34 colleges in November and December. Only two colleges — Maheshwara Medical College in Andhra Pradesh’s Chitkul, and Amaltas Institute of Medical Sciences at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh — met the regulator’s benchmark.
In most of the institutes, the MCI found shortage of faculty and resident doctors, locked intensive care units (ICU) and emergency wards, and vacant general wards.
Some of the colleges forged documents to show adequate faculty or lined up fake patients for MCI inspectors.
A Hindustan Times investigation had found similar shortfalls. Empty ICUs, no faculty, locked operation theatres, and under-construction departments and buildings awaiting students in many of the institutes approved by the oversight committee.
Meanwhile, Sudhir Giri, chairman of Venkateswara University that has failed to meet the MCI standard, said: “The MCI is biased and adamant on barring us for vested reasons.”