The Calcutta High Court’s order to conduct counselling in all the private medical colleges in the state for filling up MBBS seats under management quota through a centralised system this year has put an end to the old system of admitting candidates individually by the college authorities.
The decision comes after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed at the Calcutta High Court alleging that there were irregularities in the admission of candidates under management quota in some of these private medical colleges.
All the private medical colleges had been admitting candidates in the undergraduate medical courses by flouting the Supreme Court guideline as there was an instruction by Apex Court that all the admissions in the private medical colleges must be conducted through a centralised process by forming consortium. In many states the private medical colleges admit the candidates who are selected by a centralised examination conducted by a consortium. But in West Bengal, the system was never adopted. Instead, these private medical colleges went on slapping huge amounts of capitation fees and donations on the students willing to take admission in the private medical colleges.
There is committee in the state headed by a retired Justice of Calcutta High Court to monitor the processes of admissions in private medical colleges but it never thought of introducing centralised system of selecting the eligible candidates as it was recommended by the Supreme Court. As per the order of the Supreme Court, the erstwhile Left Front government had constituted an admission monitoring committee headed by retired Justice A Barua to monitor the admission of candidates in the KPC Medical College Hospital, only private medical college and hospital at that time.
The Justice (retired) Barua committee has been monitoring the admission in the college for nearly 8 years. As other private medical colleges came up in the state it was the same committee assigned to look after their admission process. All these private medical colleges till last year used to admit MBBS students through their own separate examinations, flouting the Supreme Court order.
The matter somehow evaded the notice of the monitoring committee for last few years. Allegations had surfaced in last few years that these private medical were admitting candidates ‘arbitrarily’ without following the norms.
Even it was alleged that a candidate had to pay a hefty fees of around Rs 70 lakh for securing an admission in these private medical colleges. As per the government instruction the private medical colleges would collect around Rs 31 lakh as admission and other fees but in reality many of the students were charged as big amount of Rs 70 lakh as donation and capitation fees.