Medical Council of India (MCI) in a communication to the West Bengal government last week has informed its decision to curtail 750 seats in eight medical colleges of Bengal, including the Durgapur IQ City Medical College, a new private medical college set up last year in Durgapur. The decision to reduce the number of seats from 2,200 to 1,550 is primarily due to the fact that all these medical colleges have failed the MCI’s compliance test because of poor infrastructure.
The MCI, which regulates medical education in the country have asked these colleges to comply with infrastructure and manpower norms over the next three months, what they couldn’t achieve in three years or face the curtailment.
Of the eight medical colleges under the scanner which faces the wrath of MCI, seven are state-run institutions. They are NRS Medical College, Bankura Sammilani Medical College, Burdwan Medical College, Malda Medical College, Murshidabad Medical College, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital and ESI Medical College in Joka. The eighth medical college that faces the ire of MCI is the IQ City Medical College in Durgapur which happens to be the only private medical college in the list.
The deficiencies pointed out by the MCI include inadequate space on campuses and in classrooms, poor hostel facilities, laboratories and libraries that haven’t been upgraded in years and the shortage of teachers.
Durgapur based IQ City Medical College, the new private medical college that started operation last year, has been asked not to admit students this year. Durgapur IQ City Medical College authorities with an intake capacity of 150 students, is now in a real spot of bother following the MCI verdict.
“We have asked the medical colleges not to admit students against the cancelled number of seats unless the requisite norms are fulfilled. If the state government submits a fresh undertaking and the Centre refers it to us, the executive council will decide on that,” Jayshreeben Mehta, president of the MCI, told news agencies on Tuesday.
Unlike the previous two years when the state government’s undertaking to ensure compliance had been accepted, there is no guarantee that another last-minute request would be granted.
Medical students affiliated to AIDSO today accused the state government of failing to fulfill the criteria set by the MCI and remaining indifferent towards their plight despite numerous complaints.
“We had raised issues about the crippling infrastructure numerous times in the past, but to no avail. As a result, the council acted tough and has virtually punished the state,” said a student requesting anonymity.
Bengal has fewer medical seats than many other states and 750 less than last year would be a blow to the career aspirations of scores of students hoping to become doctors. Nearly 1.2 lakh students wrote the state joint entrance examinations for engineering and medical (combined) in April. The results are likely to be declared in June and the new academic session starts in August.