New MCI panel gets more time

 Set up a fortnight ago following the arrest of tainted MCI chairman Ketan Desai by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the six-member board was in a piquant position as it was to decide on 87 applications by June 15 in accordance with a Supreme Court directive.

The board informed Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad that they took over only on May 24 and did not have sufficient time for evaluating the proposals received from the MCI.

Two of the board members – Devi Shetty from Bangalore and Gautam Sen from Mumbai — were also required to attend the meetings at Delhi for clearing the files. Agreeing to the board’s contentions, the Centre has now extended its deadline by one month for approving fresh colleges as well as renewing approvals for relatively new colleges. The deadline will expire on July 15.

Five Karnataka colleges whose future is in the hands of the board are Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences, S S Institute of Medical Sciences, Davanagere, Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences and Hubli and Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences.

The board will have to decide on the admission of the fourth batch of students in Bidar and Shimoga medical colleges and the fifth batch in Davanagere and Mandya. The Hubli medical college is awaiting MCI approval for its second batch.

The officials, however, have made it clear that the extension was applicable only for the 2010-11 academic session as an exceptional case.

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