New Delhi: A Supreme Court-appointed panel to oversee the MCI’s functioning slammed the medical education regulator, saying it “disregarded” its directives by not conducting fresh inspection of medical colleges.
A statement issued by the Oversight Committee (OC), headed by Justice R M Lodha, said it had resolved that all applicant medical colleges, which were not given an opportunity to present their compliance to deficiencies communicated by MCI, be given an opportunity to do so by June 22 in its meeting held on June 13.
“However, in disregard of directives of OC dated June 13 2016, MCI returned all applications without conducting any fresh assessment or inspection seeking refuge in legal arguments, which have been found untenable by OC.
“Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also did not make any fresh assessment and recommendations and merely forwarded the reports of MCI to the OC,” the OC statement said.
It said that due to this it was confronted with an avoidable situation where MCI “frustrated” the implementation of its directions and forwarded the applications without conducting assessment or inspection.
“The OC was thus left with a piquant situation to examine the compliance submitted by the applicant colleges without the assessment or inspection reports of MCI,” it said.
The statement comes after a petition was filed recently in the apex court which accused the Oversight Committee of over-stepping its given job of monitoring the work of MCI.
The petition filed by Anand Rai, alleged that the Committee overshot MCI and the Health Ministry’s disapproval of hundreds of applications made by medical colleges without conducting any “fresh” inspection or assessment, reports said.
The petition claimed that the panel, in August, went on to grant recognition and allowed colleges to increase student intake and even extended the time schedule for colleges to remove deficiencies based on which MCI had recommended disapproval of their applications.
The OC in its statement said that since the physical inspections had not been conducted by MCI following its directive and the Committee was not equipped to undertake the same.
It decided to examine the applications by the applicant medical colleges on parameters which included examining faculty position and other infrastructure available on the MCI website by visiting the website of the college.
It said that there were instances where websites could not be accessed which also frustrated the attempts of OC to permit abundant opportunity to examine the claims of the college and hence could not be considered favourably.
“In the absence of fresh assessments done by MCI, the OC was constrained to follow the aforementioned process in evaluating the claims made by the applicant colleges and have thus provided them abundant opportunity to stake their claim.
“This has been the procedure followed by the OC in all categories of applications, which have been processed and sent to government and Health ministry for notification on August 12 and 13, 2016,” it said in a statement.
The OC said that it had taken a number of remedial measures which include approving increased intake in UG and super speciality courses for 2016-17 without diluting the quality of education, rationalising and adding transparency to the assessment procedures, improving the accountability of the process of establishment of new medical colleges among others.