“ If we go on permitting this, a day will come when a course of this nature and type will be conducted on a roadside or on the pavement without any infrastructure.” Bombay HC
Mumbai: In the case pertaining to the recognition of CPS courses, the Bombay High Court recently pulled up the central and the state government for allowing such courses to flourish despite opposition from the MCI adding that If a CPS diploma holder cannot teach any student nor can be termed as an expert in any branch of medicine or surgery, then, there is no warrant in allowing him to retain this degree in his bio-data or nameplate.
The controversial two years diploma courses by College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mumbai have indeed become a matter of debate with regards to their recognition by the Medical Council of India. The matter has finally reached the doors of the Bombay High Court, with all eyes upon the court for deciding the fate of these courses
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that last year, through a gazetted notification, dated 17th October, 2017, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare gave recognition to various CPS diploma courses by including them in the 1st schedule of the MCI act.
Soon in February 2018, the Ministry did a u-turn through another gazette notification by de-recognising majority of the CPS diploma courses
Hearing the matter on a writ filed by one Dr Priya ,the court observed the stand of the counsel of the Medical Council of India (MCI) as well as the National Board of Examinations (NBE) who stated that neither of the bodies were in favour of inclusion of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and its courses in the First Schedule to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The counsel also supplemented documents that showed that MCI was opposing inclusion of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS for short) and its diploma course in this first schedule. The court then noted
we would highly appreciate if we are enlightened as to how the Government of India continuously ignores the opinion of the Medical Council of India and includes this Course in the First Schedule to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. It has indicted the medical college of Physicians and Surgeons in very strong terms. It has stated in one of its communication to the Government of India and particularly, dated 2nd November 2017, that the Secretary of the concerned department must note that this so called College is nothing but a society. It is not a recognized University or a Deemed University and therefore, not covered by the UGC Act, 1956. It does not have a full time teaching faculty, proper building, hospital and other infrastructural facilities for imparting teaching and training to the students.
” CPS being a Society without any proper infrastructure, teaching faculty, hospital, etc. required for imparting medical education is not legally entitled to conduct any medical course as well as confer any degrees whatsoever. In any event, the degree granted by the CPS cannot be treated as a recognized medical qualification.” the communication had added
The court taking cognizance of the letter stated that the Ministry of Health still granting recognition to CPS depicts sorry state of affairs
the Ministry while issuing notification dated 23.10.2017 lost sight of the fact that the said notification would result in completely bypassing the statutory scheme incorporated under the Act and the Regulations framed thereunder since the degrees awarded by CPS has been recognized by the Ministry without there being any formal application, scrutinizing and processing of application, verification of availability of Minimum Standard Requirements etc.
There was neither any consultation nor any consideration with the MCI with respect to the above mentioned courses and the same will be contrary to scheme of IMC Act, 1956 and the Regulations framed thereunder. The notification dated 23.10.2017 sets a very dangerous precedent as other colleges will come forward citing the said notification and claim that the degrees awarded by the University or affiliating University should be recognized in the same manner as is done in the case of CPS.”
The court then pulled up the government on the issue of medical education
This is not some Kindergarten or primary education. This is Medicinal and a professional degree. It is a professional course where a person is trained to be not only just a graduate in the field of study, but enables him to obtain higher and better qualifications. This two years diploma course being conducted by an institute of the above repute really brings throws entire medical education in total disarray. The history of medical education in India reveals that the Union of India hardly cares for the opinion of the expert body and rather brushes it aside conveniently so as to accommodate some courses / some institutions/some colleges. If we go on permitting this, a day will come when a course of this nature and type will be conducted on a road side or on the pavement without any infrastructure. We do not want any MBBS doctor with such qualifications attached to his name viz. DCH (CPS), etc. It is ultimately a patient who will be misled and he would consider such doctors to be experts.
The court then passed the following interim order
- We therefore want both the Central Government, the State of Maharashtra through the Department of Medical Education and Research to file their affidavits and disclose to the Court as to when they will curb such tendencies on the part of some professionals who are bent upon taking credit of imparting medical education.
- If a CPS diploma holder cannot teach any student nor can be termed as a expert in any branch of medicine or surgery,then, there is no warrant in allowing him to retain this degree in his bio-data or name plate.
- The Medical Council of India shall must also set out the corrective steps at its end.
- If any authority has recognized the CPS, then it should give an explanation to this Court as to how and under what circumstances despite the strong indictment by the Medical Council of India has this CPS been allowed to continue its courses in the State of Maharashtra.
The court also directed that DMER, MMC, CPS are also made a party to the case . Meanwhile, in another interim order, the court combined all the matters pertaining before the court where the common issue is about recognition and de-recognition of the courses of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. The matter is now posted for 9th August