KARNATAKA

Minister defends decision to open more nursing colleges

MANGALORE DEC. 24. The Minister for Medical Education, Ecology, and Environment, A.B. Maalakaraddy, has justified the Government's decision to grant permission to institutions to start nursing colleges in the State.

Terming Karnataka the Mecca of technical institutions, he said it was imperative that the State catered to the interests of students from other parts of India.

He told here on Wednesday that the Government had taken cognisance of the growing demand for nurses not just in India but also abroad.

It was estimated that there were seven lakh vacancies for nurses outside India, he said and added that graduates in nursing could hope to secure a job in other countries.

Noting that it was impossible for the Government to provide employment to trained people locally, Dr. Maalakaraddy said the Indian youth could seek lucrative jobs outside the country. He said the Government had lifted the moratorium on starting new nursing colleges from July this year, recognising the global demand for nursing graduates.

Asked if the opening of more nursing colleges would affect the quality of education, the Minister said a committee of senior officials headed by the Director of Medical Education would inspect the infrastructure, premises, and facilities offered by the colleges before according recognition to them. The Government was keen to ensure that new colleges complied with the regulations to ensure quality education.

The institutions applying for permission to open nursing colleges would be provided time to improve the infrastructure, he said and added that non-compliance with the rules would attract a ban on their functioning. Asked if nursing colleges would meet the same fate as that of technical institutions that had failed to fill their quota of seats, he attributed this to the move by the All-India Council for Technical Education to reduce the qualifying percentage for admission to 35.

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