ANDHRA PRADESH

No move to shift UHS: Minister

VIJAYAWADA SEPT 21. The Health Minister, Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, has complimented NTR University of Health Sciences for making elaborate arrangements for counselling and admission of students to MBBS and BDS courses for the first time at its headquarters here since yesterday. It will complete the process by September 30 so that classes can start from Oct 1 as per the Supreme Court order.

Speaking to newspersons after inspecting the counselling procedure today, he said that the university would make admission to all its courses at Vijayawada itself and carry out all its functions in a full-fledged manner from the headquarters. He scotched rumours that the Health University would be shifted from Vijayawada to Hyderabad. He said that six private medical colleges at Kuppam, Eluru, Karimnagar, Sangareddi, Medi City and Nellore could not get renewal from the Central Government till now. The University would be able to allot students to them only if they get the recognition latest by September 28. Otherwise, they may have to lose one academic year. Even though it is the burden of the managements to get renewal, the State Government would extend whatever help they needed so that the students can have 600 seats more, he said.

The medical college proposed by NRIs at Mangalagiri also awaited permission of the Central Government. The Minister refuted the charge of some student unions that the fees fixed for various seats in Government and private medical colleges was very high and burdensome to poor and meritorious students. He said that the Government had made a detailed exercise for four months to evaluate the cost of running a private medical college and fixed the fees for 50 per cent free seats (filled by the University through counselling) and for 25 per cent payment seats to be filled up under the supervision of the university as per Eamcet rank but at a higher tuition fees. The managements have agreed to fill up these 25 per cent seats in the premises of the university here itself. They can fill up the remaining 25 per cent seats at fees to be fixed by themselves, he said.

He pointed out that the Government had decided to encourage private medical education. So it should ensure that they do not close due to financial problems. At the same time, the Government needed to see that the fees is not burdensome to students. So it struck a balance to safeguard the interests of both students and managements. There were no legal problems over fees fixation in Andhra Pradesh as in other States because of the detailed exercise, he said.

Some medical colleges faced problems to get MCI recognition for want of faculty, particularly, in para-clinical departments like anatomy. So the Government wants to start M.Sc (Anatomy) course to meet this need, he said. The Minister went round the university and Siddhartha Medical college to acquaint himself with their problems of lack of infrastructure.

He assured the university that it can continue in its present building. The Government would sanction required funds for completion of the other two blocks, which remained incomplete for the last two decades, to accommodate the hospital.

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