The counseling for admission in the MBBS course in medical college across the country has begun from October 27, but the list of approved medical colleges along with the sanctioned number of seats is not available anywhere in the public domain, leaving the students in a lurch
The new education regulator, the National Medical Commission (NMC), which took over the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI) on September 25, hasn’t uploaded this vital information on its website for the academic session 2020-21. The information is only available for the academic year 2019-20.
The NMC completed the process of granting approval to new colleges and renewal of permission to the existing colleges on October 15, 2020, but the assessment status of colleges hasn't been updated.
It is for the first time in almost a decade that a list of approved colleges and their assessment reports are not available in the public domain. Experts say this information is crucial and can be disadvantageous for candidates in choosing institutions though they admit NMC is in a transition phase and there will be some teething trouble.
“Let’s presume that a candidate in Uttar Pradesh wants to opt for a government or private college based on his ranking. He will visit the NMC website and see the number of colleges that the regulator has permitted in UP for academic session 2020-21. After going through the list and number of seats available with each college, he or she will be in a position to make an informed choice. Now that is not possible,” explains Dr RK Srivastav, ex-chairman, the board of governors in the erstwhile MCI
There are over 560 medical colleges in the country and every year more than 100 new colleges apply for permission to admit fresh batches. They are subjected to inspection and their assessment reports are prepared based on the compliance of faculty norms. After a successful inspection, they are granted permission to admit fresh students. Majority of the new colleges fail the inspection.
Besides new ones, the existing non-recognized colleges are also inspected and assessed for renewal of permission every year for five years till they are recognized. Once they get recognition, they are not assessed unless there is a specific complaint regarding the faculty or management.
Out of 560 colleges, more than 30 per cent fall in the category of non-recognized that needs annual assessment and inspection for renewal of permission. In the past, many institutions failed in inspection and were denied permission to take admission. However, some of them admitted students in violation of norms and faced legal action.
Keeping these violations in mind, the Supreme Court had ordered the MCI to upload the information on the permission status of colleges along with the number of sanctioned seats in the public domain.
“The NMC has replaced MCI on the ground of alleged corruption. If the NMC also lacks transparency and accountability, the whole exercise will go waste and the problem will be back to square one. I request the secretary of the new regulatory body to immediately upload the required information,” says Dr Gulshan Garg of Sankalp Charitable Trust. Garg has played a crucial role in getting the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) implemented in the country through the Supreme Court order.
The NMC didn't respond to Outlook's email when asked the reason for not updating the information on its website.
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