Dehradun: Government’s delay in enhancing seats at state-run Medical Colleges is constantly impacting the education of aggrieved 300 MBBS students of the defunct Shridev Suman Subharti Medical College (SSSMC).
According to a recent report by TOI, nine days since the Supreme Court rejected the review petition of Medical Council of India (MCI), the authorities concerned are yet to approve the increase in seats of the Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) in Uttarakhand.
In the first week of April, the MCI had moved the apex court seeking a review of its order that directed the Uttarakhand government to accommodate 300 students, including those of the first and second-year MBBS course of the defunct Subharti medical college to GMCs in the state.
The MBBS students had been running pillar to post urging the state government to accommodate them to other medical colleges since December last year when the medical college was shut down after various discrepancies were noticed in the institute.
Medical Dialogues had been extensively reporting about the controversial case of self-financing Subharti Medical College. On December 6, the Supreme Court had ordered the Uttarakhand government to take over the land, buildings and assets of the Medical College within 24 hours and run it as a government entity thereafter.
This decision was taken in view of the petitions filed by a group of 74 NEET qualified students, who were admitted to the first year MBBS course. The students moved the apex court saying that as there was a lack of infrastructure and faculty, they should be transferred to any other medical college in the state.
At that hearing, the Deputy Advocate General (DAG) of Uttarakhand J K Sethi told the bench that the state would be willing to take over the college along with its entire infrastructure and assets, both movable and immovable so that it could meet the norms of MCI and affiliated with Dehradun’s Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Uttarakhand Medical University (HNB Medical University).
The SC had made it clear that if the university affiliates the institution and MCI grants requisite permission, the students can sit for the first-year examination of MBBS course to be conducted by the university.
Further, in an affidavit filed with SC on January 15, the MCI backed the idea to shift MBBS students of the medical college to other medical colleges running across the state.
In 2017, the MCI had inspected the medical college and found several deficiencies. The same year, the medical education governing body barred the medical college from admitting students for the next two academic years. However, the MCI did allow the 150 MBBS students who had taken admission to the college in 2016, to continue their studies in the same premises, saying their degrees will be valid.
Uttarakhand government decided to start the admission process of these MBBS students to other private and government medical colleges across the state on the basis of their NEET score within two weeks.
The officials added that both year students will be again made to sit for the first-year exams after the medical college is allotted to them. However, sources from the government had informed that time that the 2nd year MBBS students had approached the SC against the clause which makes them reappear for the first-year exam.
The long-delayed counselling of 300 MBBS students was held on March 6.
However, the students were not happy with the court’s decision on moving them to private colleges. 74 students filed an application in the apex court. Then after considering the plea of aggrieved students, the SC had ordered to the state to accommodate them to GMCs.
Thereafter, in response to the SC’s verdict to shift these MBBS students to GMCs, the MCI filed a review petition.
On April 12, the apex court rejected the review petition of MCI stating that the seats in GMCs cannot be increased without proper infrastructure arrangements as it will impact the quality of studies. An advocate of MCI confirmed TOI about the rejection of the petition by the SC.
The state, all set to allot the seats; is waiting for the MCI permission but with the constant delay in the MBBS counselling, the students are left with quandary all over again.
Dr Vijay Juyal, Registrar of HNB Medical University; said that counselling of the students is delayed from MCI’s end because the latter is yet to issue the notification of an increase in seats.