New Delhi: Taking a carrot and a stick approach towards increasing PG Medical Seats across the country, the Medical Council of India through its recent amendment to “Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 has stipulated that medical colleges in India offering MBBS courses will have to make an application for starting of Post-graduate medical education courses within three years of grant of recognition, i.e., three years from the date of inclusion of the MBBS qualification awarded by the Medical College in the First Schedule of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.
Moreover, the amendment clearly states that Failure to make an application for starting of Postgraduate courses within the stipulated time shall entail the withdrawal of recognition of MBBS qualification.
The said MCI amendments under the bracket heading “Postgraduate Medical Education (Amendment) Regulations, 2018” have been published in the Gazette on 5th April, 2018. Clause 6(1), (2) & (3) under the heading “Starting of postgraduate Medical Courses and their recognition” of the “Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000”, shall be substituted as under
An institution intending to start a post-graduate medical education course or to increase the annual intake capacity in an already ongoing course shall obtain the prior permission of the Central Government under section 10A of the Act. The prior permission granted by the Central Government for Postgraduate Degree/Postgraduate Diploma courses shall be for four and three academic years respectively Provided that it shall be incumbent upon Medical Colleges/Medical Institutions to make an application for starting of Post-graduate medical education courses within three years of grant of recognition, i.e., three years from the date of inclusion of the MBBS qualification awarded by the Medical College in the First Schedule of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. Failure to make an application for starting of Postgraduate courses within the stipulated time shall entail the withdrawal of recognition of MBBS qualification.
Not only this, the amendments imply that medical colleges will be in total given three opportunities to get approval to start PG course. Failure to obtain the permission will also lead to a withdrawal of Recognition of MBBS qualification
Provided further that a Medical College/Medical Institution that makes an application for starting of a Postgraduate course in the eventuality of disapproval shall be granted two more opportunities for the succeeding years to make an application. Failure to obtain permission of the Central Government thereafter shall entail the withdrawal of Recognition of MBBS qualification.”
Provided further that above shall be applicable to the scheme submitted from the academic year 2020-21 onwards, in order to provide time to the existing colleges to apply.
Laying Down the procedure for application for recognition of PG medical qualification, the amendment states
(2)The Institution shall apply for recognition of the Post Graduate Medical qualification to the Central Government through the affiliating University, when the first admitted batch shall be due to appear for the examination to be conducted by the affiliating University.
In the event of deficiencies being found in the assessment, the Institution shall be granted an opportunity to submit compliance within 30 days from the date of communication of deficiencies by the Council.
Such an opportunity to comply with the deficiencies shall be availed by the Institute only twice. The Postgraduate Medical Education Committee on finding the compliance satisfactory shall convey the recommendation to recognize the course. In all others cases, the prior permission of the Central Government granted under sub-clause (1) shall be deemed to have lapsed after four and three years for Postgraduate Degree/Postgraduate Diploma courses respectively. Further, in such cases; recommendation shall be made to the Central Government to include the qualifications in the First Schedule of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 only in respect of first four batches of Postgraduate Degree Courses and three batches of Postgraduate Diploma courses.
Another important development in the amendment comes in the form of more penalties being announced for medical colleges in case of shortcomings in offering PG course and their approval. Most significantly colleges which do not get their PG courses recognized would have to pay a heavy price which ranges from the monetary penalty as high as Rs 10 lakhs to losing the PG course and/or even the institution may be debarred from making further PG applications to even reduction in MBBS seats.
The clause states
Failure to seek timely recognition as required in sub-clause 2 shall invariably result in stoppage of admission to the concerned Post Graduate course.
In the event of failure of the institute to seek recognition for existing Post Graduate courses, the Council may recommend to the Central Government for imposition of exemplary penalty which may extend to Rupees ten lakhs per seat of the postgraduate course; and/or stoppage of other postgraduate Medical courses of the Institution; and/or debar the Institution from making any application for starting or increase of seats in postgraduate courses for a specified period; and/or reducing the intake capacity in MBBS.”