Is it ‘Over-Shit’ on Medical Education?

By: Dhananjay Kumar

Over 80 sham private medical colleges have been given nod for admission, future of over 10 thousand students at stake

New Delhi: Recognition and go ahead for admission recently given to over six dozen private medical colleges has raised a stink that is unprecedented in the history of medical education in India. Doctor community is calling it ‘over –shit’ on already much maligned medical education scenario. Admission is on in these sham medical colleges. Over 10 thousand students are set to fall in this pit.
Shockingly, this has been done by Central Health and Family Welfare Ministry at the behest of an oversight committee recently created by Supreme Court to keep tab on goings on in MCI (Medical Council of India), country’s regulator of medical education. Its stated aim was to stop corruption if any in MCI. If MCI is really an Augean Stable, oversight committee’s faux pas has paled even that into insignificance. These are colleges that had been refused recognition and permission for admitting students by MCI after physical verification and were found poorly equipped to not merit recognition as medical colleges.

It is alleged that these colleges brazened out and took oversight committee for a ride. These colleges simply created their websites and faked fulfilling all the requisites. They appealed to oversight committee against MCI’s refusal. BCCI fame Lodha oversight Committee , in its over enthusiasm to show MCI its place, believed their claims without any verification simply with a rider that in case their claims turn out wrong, each of those colleges would have to give a penalty of two crores and would be banned for two years. Doctor community says these penal provisions would hardly undo the cheating perpetrated on thousands of students. And then each of these colleges would amass over 60 crores from students in the first year of admission. So even if these colleges finally are taken to task, their cash registers would still be ringing.
Vyapam grade complainants tried to abort this decision by trying to file PIL against oversight committee’s faux pas but elicited no positive response from the apex court. Supreme Court turned down their IPL, saying they should first take the matter to Lodha committee itself. Talking to Medicare News, Dr Ajay Kumar, a noted urologist from Bihar and chairman of MCI’s grievance redressal cell said, ‘Oversight committee has overstepped its mandate. It had just to oversee the workings of MCI. Instead, this committee has rammed its way into giving go ahead to these colleges.’ He also censors central health ministry for doing the bidding by the committee. He says, ‘The ministry should have withheld committee’s order saying it would first get the facts verified.’ Complainants had completely narrated the glaring lapses in these colleges but of no avail.
30 September is the last date for admission in these colleges and students taking admission in these colleges are blithely oblivious of the fact that their future are in for dire straits. This has raised serious doubts about Niti Ayog’s bid to close MCI shop and create a National Medical Commission (NMC) as new regulator. A draft bill to this end is now in public domain to elicit opinions from people at large. If passed, the stranglehold of political leaders and the central government on medical education would be complete. Independent observers and policy experts say that MCI needs to be cleaned for sure but they express doubts about the efficacy of new regulator being mooted now. They say the state of medical education may even be worse when National Medical Commission (NMC) takes over.

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