Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Minister for Medical Education V.S. Acharya on Thursday told the Legislative Assembly that the three medical colleges at Shimoga, Raichur and Bidar would begin functioning from the current academic year (2007-08).

Replying to the former Minister S.R. More (Congress) during Zero Hour, Dr. Acharya said the Medical Council of India (MCI) had inspected the infrastructure in three colleges last month. The Government was hopeful of receiving approval from the MCI for admission of students from this academic year.

Three colleges at Hassan, Mandya and Belgaum started functioning from the last academic year, he said.

On the Opposition allegations on the transfer of teachers from the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Hubli, Dr. Acharya said 23 professors, and associate and assistant professors had been transferred from KIMS to Hassan, Belgaum, Shimoga and Raichur to meet the faculty requirements of the four new medical colleges. They would be brought back to KIMS by September 30, he said.

The MCI had inspected the medical colleges at Hassan, Mandya and Belgaum for the second year MBBS course as well as admission of 100 students to the first year course this year, he said.

Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said KIMS had completed 100 years this year, and the Government had earmarked Rs. 100 crore to develop the hospital. Nearly Rs. 75 crore had already been released.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition N. Dharam Singh, R.V. Deshpande, S.S. Patil and Mr. More (all Congress) criticised the decision to transfer KIMS staff to the new medical colleges.