The High Court of Karnataka on Monday declared that the Indian Nursing Council (INC) has no authority to grant recognition to institutions imparting nursing courses. It restrained the INC from publishing on its website material indicating that the institutions have to obtain recognition from it.
The court held that the council is empowered to prescribe qualification and syllabus for nursing courses, and not to accord recognition to colleges.
Justice L. Narayana Swamy delivered the verdict while allowing petitions filed by the Karnataka State Association of the Managements of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences Institutions, and some nursing colleges.
Also, the court said that all such stands withdrawn from the INC’s website forthwith.
The action of the INC claiming that nursing colleges have to get recognition from it, publishing the list of recognised colleges, and releasing any such material on its website, would cause hardship to petitioners and nursing colleges as students, who visit the website would infer that colleges which are not in the list, are not recognised.
‘Against the law’
The action of the INC in publishing the list of recognised nursing institutions is against the law declared by the High Court in a earlier case of 2005 as well as an order of the Supreme Court, Justice Narayana Swamy observed in the order.
The petitioner-association had claimed that the INC has no authority to grant recognition to institutions imparting nursing courses, such as auxiliary nurse and midwife, general nursing, B.Sc. Nursing and M.Sc. Nursing, after the INC removed Karnataka’s nursing colleges from the list of recognised institutions of nursing.
The association had supported the State government’s notification of December 14, 2016, which was issued citing 2005 order of the High Court, clarifying that the power to grant recognition, impart training in nursing and fixation of intake vests with the State government, the Karnataka State Nursing Council and the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences and not the INC.
Prior to the December 2016 notification, the State had insisted recognition from the INC.
Meanwhile, the court rejected the petitions filed by Student Nurses’ Association of the Trained Nurses’ Association of India and several other nursing colleges seeking a direction to the INC to renew or grant recognition to the nursing institution, while claiming that it is the INC that has to grant recognition to their qualification if their nursing certificate or degree is required to have recognition across India and abroad.