Confronted with a number of complaints about corruption in grant of recognition to medical colleges, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has cautioned the institution managements of strict action if they are found to be involved in malpractices.

Mr. Azad will also write to the Board of Governors that has superseded the Medical Council of India (MCI) to be transparent in their dealings.

“I have cautioned the managements that action would not only be taken against the touts who indulge in corruption by name-dropping but also against them for using touts to get their jobs done,” he told journalists here on Monday.

“Instead of waiting to get their work done through unfair means using touts, they [managements] should use the money for creating infrastructure and faculty for improving the institution so that it gets recognition on merit,” Mr. Azad said.

In February, Mr. Azad wrote to the deans and principals of all medical colleges, urging them to be vigilant against touts using his or any Health Ministry official's name to get recognition for medical colleges through the MCI.

The malpractice was expected to end after the MCI was superseded by the six-member Board of Governors, and its president Ketan Desai arrested by the CBI on charges of corruption.

“The Board of Governors has been given the final powers for approval from the MCI through the Ordinance and the cases need not come to the Ministry,” Mr. Azad said.

However, with the recognition process at its peak before the new academic session starts, unscrupulous elements are said to be in action again assuring clearance in lieu of money.

80 complaints

The Ministry had received close to 80 complaints of malpractices since February from southwest India, where 80 per cent of the country's private medical colleges were situated.

Action was initiated against these after the complaints were forwarded to the respective Chief Ministers and heads of police departments, Mr. Azad said.

The Minister asked students to come forward with their complaints regarding lack of infrastructure or faculty in their college.

On the Board of Governors seeking more time for clearing pending cases, Mr. Azad said the panel would also look into complaints received by it regarding undue favour or malpractices in refusing recognition.