SC order right on medical seats

The Supreme Court has settled an important issue concerning medical admissions by ruling that there is no need to secure fresh permission from the Medial Council of India (MCI) when a recognised medical college wants to increase the intake of students. The court has said that fresh recognition is unwarranted if the medical degree awarded by the college is already recognised by the government under the Indian Medical Council Act. There is the need for permission only from the Central govern-ment. The ruling came in a writ petition filed by a medical college in Tamil Nadu which wanted the number of seats for its MBBS course to be increased from 150 to 250 in the next academic session. The court, in fact, ordered immediate consideration of the college’s request and issuance of letters of sanction within two weeks so that the college can go ahead with its admission programme.

There are different precedents in such situations. Two other medical colleges had been given permission to increase their seats but some others had to seek fresh permission from the MCI. The fact that there are contradictory decisions on the same issue in similar situations showed that one of the decisions was wrong or could have been influenced by extraneous considerations. Medical colleges were concerned that the decisions were not based on a correct and consistent policy. The legal position, as explained by the court, is clear that a college which has the necessary permission and recognition to start medical courses need not go through the whole process of the MCI’s approval to increase student capacity. The MCI does not have the best reputation for taking the right decisions in such cases. It has invited serious charges of corruption and its senior functionaries have faced cases. Former Union health minister Harsh Vardhan had openly said that the MCI is a big source of corruption and it had weakened the country’s medical education system. Unfortunately, being an autonomous body, it is not easy to control and reform it. But efforts should be made towards it, because a good, strong and professional regulator is needed for medical education.

The Supreme Court had, last month, given permission to a medical college in Maharashtra to start functioning with an intake of 100 students even though the MCI had refused to grant it permission. It is unfortunate that such issues have to be frequently decided by the Supreme Court. The country needs more doctors. The MCI should not be an obstacle in educating them.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry