Private medical colleges are opposed to any review of admissions at the moment saying that they were planning to send their management quota merit lists to NTR University of Health and Medical Sciences in Vijayawada for its approval.
"If the government suspected foul play in the admission process, it should have looked into the matter before the opening of the process. This is no time for a re-evaluation of admissions," said Laxman Rao, secretary of the consortium of private medical college managements.
Sources said that the governor's directive to the government calling for a second look at management quota admissions was based on proof of sale of seats submitted by NGO Save Merit Society. The NGO in question had earlier approached high court seeking a stay on admissions at this colleges. The case will come up for hearing on July 8.
"Several colleges in the state have sold their management quota seats at prices in excess of Rs 45 lakh. Some colleges have even charged Rs 1 crore for a five-year MBBS degree. We have been fighting against this practice," said VARK Prasad, the NGO's president. In its petition to the court, the complainant has mentioned 14 colleges which have allegedly been selling their seats at exorbitant rates.
Up to 40% of seats in medical colleges are marked for the management quota for which admissions are to be made on the basis of merit. The fee prescribed for management quota is Rs 5.5 lakh per annum for a course that lasts four years and six months.
As per GO 136, this fee should be collected in four instalments. "None of these rules are followed by private medical college managements," Prasad alleged.
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The Maharashtra government has created the much needed teaching posts in 14 government medical colleges (GMCs) across the state.
For long, the colleges were under the MCI scanner for inadequate staff and were repeatedly warned about filling the posts of teaching and senior resident doctors. It is for the first time that the state government has taken cognizance of the issue and created 351 teaching posts, through the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), across 14 GMCs.
The new 351 posts include 38 posts of professors, 67 associate professors, 217 lecturers/assistant professors, 11 medical officers, 9 child health doctors, 5 epidemiology and 4 statisticians.
"The government has realised the urgent need to fill the teaching posts as per MCI norms. DMER has created 351 posts. We now plan to conduct similar posts in nursing and physiotherapy colleges which too are facing threat of
disaffiliation by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences," said DMER head Dr Pravin Shingare.
The state government and DMER have been under tremendous MCI pressure for many years for filling up these posts and managed affairs by transferring teachers temporarily to the colleges being inspected. Medical education minister Vijay Kumar Gavit had been promising to fill all vacant posts since the time he took charge of the ministry. But it is for the first time that something concrete has happened.
Aspiring medical students can now look forward to an expanded medical education sector as 3,595 more MBBS seats have been created this year.
Of these, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has given its approval to 2,400 fresh MBBS seats in 20 new medical colleges and 1,195 additional seats in existing medical colleges across the country, sources told PTI.
These new seats come close on the heels of 300 additional MBBS seats created through six new AIIMS-like institutes in as many states from September this year.
Medical students have also reasons to cheer now, as the MCI has created 1,442 new post-graduate seats, with 1,326 MD/MS seats in various existing medical colleges and another 116 super-speciality seats for DM/MCH.
Among the new medical colleges approved by MCI now, include nine in the government sector and 11 private ones. Among the states in which new medical colleges will come up include Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat (where the government-run Medical Education and Research Society will set up the medical college).
The MCI last year had created 4,452 fresh MBBS seats in 21 new medical colleges and additional seats in existing medical colleges in the country.
The new seats approved by MCI would help correct the existing imbalance in the availability of public health resources, health ministry officials said.
With their coming into operation, the overall availability of MBBS seats in India would rise to 45,464 and the number of medical colleges in the country would rise to 355.
The Supreme Court on Thursday permitted the union health ministry to undertake online counselling for admission of students to undergraduate medical courses for 15 percent central seats in government colleges across the country.
An apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice J.S. Khehar cleared the decks for online counselling for admissions to MBBS and BDS after it gave the go-ahead to the scheme submitted by the health ministry in this regard.
The scheme is on the lines of the prevailing online counselling for PG (post-graduate) courses.
Under the scheme, students seeking admission to nearly 2,500 seats under all-India quota would get three instead of two chances, as available now, to exercise their option in choosing their colleges.
The online counselling would also eliminate the chances of central seats being taken away by the states after they fall vacant.
There are about 20,000 undergraduate medical seats in government colleges in the country and all eligible students can take their chances for online counselling for all-India seats.
The counselling for undergraduate medical courses will commence on June 24 and will continue till September-end.
Aspiring doctors will have to spend a year working in rural areas before getting their MBBS degrees, as the government has decided to make rural posting compulsory for them.
In a letter to the Medical Council of India (MCI), the Health Ministry has asked its Board of Governors to make rural posting for doctors mandatory and include it in the MBBS course curriculum.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said doctors will be attached with the Ministry's flagship National Rural Health Mission during the year-long rural posting which will also help improve health care services in villages.
Once this proposal becomes part of MBBS curriculum, a medical student, after completing 4.5 years of study and thereafter the hospital internship, will have to undergo a mandatory year-long house job in the form of a rural posting before getting the MBBS degree. Till then, the degree would be provisional.
Chairman of MCI Board of Governors K K Talwar told PTI that the one-year compulsory rural posting for doctors is in the offing and modalities in this respect are being worked out. The posting would be made mandatory in a designated rural area.
"We are working on this. A mechanism is being evolved in this regard. An expert committee is looking into this and will recommend modalities in its meeting soon, after which the details worked out will be sent to the Health Ministry for its approval," Talwar said.
Sources say the government is working to do away with the compulsory three-month rural posting during the year-long MBBS internship and the same will be made part of the one-year rural house job with an NRHM facility henceforth.