The first batch of the Post Graduate programme of Zulekha Nursing College in Kodialbail in the city got off to a rocky start as all 13 students enrolled have left the college. With the students unsure of the college — run by the Yenepoya Group — getting certification from the Indian Nursing Council (INC), the M.Sc. nursing students left the college a fortnight ago. Ironically, the college received INC approval in the first week of April.
Students from across the State and Kerala had joined courses in five branches offered there – Medical Surgical Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Child Health Nursing, Obstetrics and Gynaecological Nursing and Mental Health Nursing. Though the college was started in 2006, offering B.Sc. (Nursing), the first batch for the M.Sc. courses was admitted last year.
A student, who requested anonymity, said in August itself the students realised that the college did not have INC approval. “When we joined, we were under the impression that the college is INC certified. This certification would have more value, and can get us jobs abroad. However, the college did not have INC approval, which means our education would be worthless,” said the student.
The issue was taken up with the management, who replied that INC inspection would get underway soon, added the student. “Even in December, there was no information about it. The students started rallying against the college. In mid-March, we were called by the Principal and told to enrol under Yenepoya University if the certification did not go through,” she said.
With rising uncertainty, all 13 students left it by the end of March, and have enrolled in colleges elsewhere. Of the Rs. 3 lakh as fee to be paid, most had paid Rs. 20,000 as university fees and one student even Rs. 70,000 as the first instalment of the fee.
While the college website has no mention of the M.Sc. course, the brochure, even from last academic year, does not mention that the two-year M.Sc course was yet to receive INC approval.
Officials at the college said the process of INC certification had started when the students had joined. “Except for the university fees, we decided not to collect tuition fees from them until the certification was done. If only the students had waited for a little while longer, they could have continued here, and obtained a certificate that was INC approved,” said the official, who was not willing to be quoted. The official denied that the students were asked to enrol under Yenepoya University. Incidentally, the Principal has since resigned from her post.
The delay was on the part of INC, added the official, who kept deferring the inspection date.
Calling the matter “closed”, the official said while the students, who have lost out on a year, have enrolled elsewhere, the college lost out on Rs. 45 lakh as fees. “Teachers had been hired, but the classrooms are empty. Now, we’ll have to wait for the next batch of students,” she said.