MCI directive given the go-by?

Deepa Kurup

Three private medical colleges allotted seats under government quota

BANGALORE: Despite recommendation by the Medical Council of India (MCI) that they be de-recognised and admissions stopped, three private medical colleges — Ambedkar Medical College in Bangalore and the two Kasturba Medical Colleges in Manipal and Mangalore — were allotted seats under the government quota this year. The Karnataka Examinations Authority allotted nearly 150 seats in these colleges last week.

It was in 2004 that the MCI first recommended that the colleges be de-recognised. Following this, the Ministry of Human Resources Development conducted inspections, and commissioned an inspection by the State Government. Interestingly, all these college were among the most preferred by top rankers in the medical category merit list.

Ramanand Shetty, Director of Medical Education, Karnataka, says: “We conducted inspections about a month ago and informed the Centre to grant permission to the colleges for admissions, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions. We just cannot afford to lose those seats.”

But the MCI does not seem to budge.

“We stick by our recommendation that has been made after a detailed inspection of facilities, faculty strength and so on. The Government should ideally follow our recommendations,” Davinder Kumar, Deputy Secretary, MCI, told The Hindu.

There have been instances when the Government admitted students to colleges, and recognition was cancelled in accordance with the MCI’s recommendations. For instance, the Basaveshwara Medical College and Hospital in Chitradurga left students in a limbo for three years before re-allotment was made.

S. Kumar, Executive Secretary of the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges-Karnataka, said: “Students should not be put through such uncertainty. Managements should take the MCI recommendations seriously.”

The consortium would not allot seats to these colleges unless there was clarity on the issue, he said.

Ambedkar Medical College maintains that it is not obliged to follow any MCI directive, and Kasturba Medical Colleges, which is a “deemed-to-be” university, conducts its own admissions.

H.S. Ballal, Dean, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, said that a State Government team had conducted inspections, and he was hopeful of a positive outcome.

“We are an old and reputed institution and we have followed all rules. We hope the issue with regard to the MCI directive will be resolved soon,” he said.

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