Simplify procedure to revise medical syllabus, says expert

Simplify procedure to revise medical syllabus, says expert

Simplify procedure to revise medical syllabus, says expert

There has to be a national policy for establishment of medical colleges in the country, Medical Council of India Chairman (MCI), Vedprakash Mishra, said.

Delivering the Dr S Kantha Endowment Lecture at the 18th Foundation Day of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), he said medical education needs a fillip with specific national objectives for quality assurance, student intake and curriculum in medical institutions.

The needs are a national entrance test, national exit test, national curriculum and national faculty development programme.

“We do not have a national policy document guiding the geographical distribution of colleges. We have to ensure that the entire country bears the fruits of medical education,” he said, calling for the National Development Perspective Plan for opening and locating medical institutions.

“The MCI is the recognising, approving and permitting authority for colleges. However, MCI regulations do not talk about accreditation of colleges.”

For this purpose, there has to be a law for an autonomous accreditation body which will take care of certification of international standards for the medical colleges, Mishra said.  “Nearly 80-85 per cent of colleges are in the private sector. Public sector financing vis-a-vis the medical colleges is dwindling. Owing to this, the concept of equity and accessibility is lost.”

In the present system, the procedure for revising the syllabus is cumbersome. It takes a minimum of four years to get the syllabus notified.

“The recommendations made in 1993 were notified only in 1997. Every subsequent recommendation for curriculum revision has taken four years to be notified. The recommendations made in 2009 have not seen the light of the day. By the time it is implemented, it becomes outdated.”

Once the syllabus is notified by the Government of India, it has to percolate to State universities.

It has to pass through Board of Studies, Faculties, Academic Council, Board of Management and then to the Chancellor. This will take another two years, adding to the delay, he said.

In this regard, the Indian Medical Council Act has to be amended to permit the Central Enactment (of notification) to come to immediate effect as part of the university bye-laws, instead of going through a tedious procedure, Mishra said.

All this would work effectively only if there is competent faculty in colleges to deal with international curriculum standards.

To ensure this, we have to establish a National Faculty Development Programme, which includes periodic orientation and learning for the faculty, he added.