The past few years have witnessed a soaring rise in the demand for medical seats in Tamil Nadu. Students are vying unyieldingly over availability of medical seats with every possible means to secure their position in any medical college. This crisis of medical seats has been efficaciously utilized by new medical colleges propping up in several parts of the state. As a result the state has witnessed an exponential growth in the number of colleges which has helped to increase the state’s capabilities of providing education to medical aspirants.
While increasing the number of medical seats in the state, it seems as if the government as well as the regulatory bodies have missed some obvious flaws and defects in the constitution of the state’s medical education framework. Amidst complains of sub-standard education being provided to the medical students in many colleges and production of inefficient medical graduates, as many as 6 medical colleges in Tamil Nadu have lost their affiliation to Medical Council of India (MCI).
MCI has withdrawn their previous recognition of many colleges besides completely refusing recognizing the other colleges to be under their flagship. As a matter of fact, none of the tainted colleges have so far been able to overturn the decision of MCI as they filed lawsuits in the Madras High Court. This will reduce the state’s tally of medical seats by an astounding 700 students or even more.
The ironic part of the story is that the Supreme Court had earlier set 15th July as the deadline for granting MCI recognition which in fact has already gone by. “With the Madras High Court lacking sedulousness in its actions, the said colleges have no other option but to forget about this year’s academic session unless the Supreme Court relaxes or extends the deadline for their sake. Even MCI is helpless in this case as it lies under the sole jurisdiction of the Supreme Court,” said a senior advocate of the High Court.
The tainted college’s list which were refused renewal include Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research; Madha Medical College and Hospital; Tagore Medical College and Hospital; Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute; and Sri Devi Kurumariammam Educational Trust. All the aforesaid colleges were vying to get renewal or new recognitions for themselves to induct 150 students each respectively.
This list is incomplete without Asan Dental College and Hospital of Chennai and Mookambiga Dental College and Hospital in Kanyakumari District which have been refused recognition by the Dental Council of India to admit 100 students each in the current academic year. Moreover, Mahatma Gandhi medical college and research institute has been disallowed from increasing its intake of 150 students to 250 students in this academic session.
Interestingly, Adhiparasakthi Institute and Sathya Sai Medical College featured in a CBI case following which they were subsequently derecognized BY the MCI. In retaliation, the college authorities challenged the order in the High Court. The matter now lies at the disposal of MCI’s ethics committee.
The colleges are usually successful in getting interim stay orders in such complicated cases after which they start admitting students. But to their frustration, this has not happened due to the High Court’s defiant stand. Time is surely running out for the colleges and this academic session seems to be a sordid one for these colleges.