The Centre has come down heavily on 51 medical colleges across the country, including one from West Bengal, derecognising them for failing to meet the parameters set by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
Interestingly, some of these medical colleges in the country – that have failed to get permission from the highest regulating body against the permitted medical seats – are government medical colleges.
In West Bengal however, ICARE Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Haldia, a private medical college has been derecognised for not fulfilling the required the requisite standards of the MCI. As a result, the future of the students pursuing MBBS courses at this private institution is hanging in the balance.
The students who have already completed their MBBS degrees from this medical college have failed to get registration from the MCI to practice in medical colleges and hospitals as an intern. However, a senior official of the state government has assured that they would urge the Centre to solve the issue so that the passed out students get registration to serve as interns.
The Centre has derecognised these 51 medical colleges from various states on the basis of the recommendations of the MCI and after assessing the pre-requisite parameters. Both state-run and private medical colleges have to take permission from the MCI for the permitted medical seats every year; however, on the permanent seats, the medical colleges need not to take permission every year.
A team from MCI visits the colleges for inspecting infrastructural issues once every five years, in case of permanent seats. MCI, however, can increase the number of permitted seats on the basis of requests from some medical colleges and even state governments, for which a team from the council conducts yearly inspection to look into whether the medical colleges are fulfilling the required parameters.
The Centre grants permission for admitting candidates in the permitted seats every year on the basis of the recommendations by MCI. The permission is initially granted for one year and is renewed on a yearly basis, subject to verification of achievements of annual targets. Medical colleges which fail to meet the minimum standards are not given permission or renewal permission. The colleges need to take permission against the new seats till the completion of five years.
It may be mentioned that the ICARE Institute of Medical Sciences and Research had started undergraduate medical courses in 2011 and this would be the first batch to complete the course.
There were 100 seats in the college and the authorities had to take permission from the MCI every year for admitting candidates in those seats.
Among these seats, 33 per cent were reserved for state government quota for which the students were admitted on the basis of the state joint entrance examinations as recommended by the government.
These permitted seats in ICARE Medical College would have been elevated to permanent seats with the passing out of the first batch of candidates.
But as the Centre has failed to recognise the institution, the MBBS degree of these students will be deemed unfit. Moreover, from this year, the medical college authorities will not be able to admit any more candidates.
Director of Medical Education Sushanta Banerjee said that they would take some steps so that the candidates who have completed their course get registration for serving at the hospital as interns.