A scam called medical council of India

Quick and arbitrary removal of secretaries and delay in reconstitution of the council might be tactical – to act as a cover for several scams that plague the body

pankaj

Pankaj Kumar | June 5, 2013



Of late, the medical council of India has been in news for all the wrong reasons. The appointment of the present secretary, RP Meena, an IPS of the Odisha cadre, has created a controversy in the medical fraternity. The Indian medical association has lodged a strong protest for selecting the secretary from the non-medical community.

Before that, then secretary Sanjiv Srivastava had resigned from the post alleging harassment. Just prior to that incident, Dr Sangeeta Sharma, a medical practitioner for 16 years, was sacked because her appointment did not have approval from the appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC). But then, she did not appoint herself. Besides, in another such case (appointment of RN Setalvad as secretary) a few years ago, the MCI had told the Delhi high court that ACC rules were not binding on them.

Even since MCI chairman Ketan Desai was arrested on corruption charges and MCI was disbanded, things have not been all right with the council –barring a year under the chairmanship of Dr SK Sarin who got the common medical entrance test, the national entrance eligibility test, NEET, notified. With the bill still hanging fire in parliament, MCI’s reconstitution is allegedly being delayed to serve the interest of certain political masters.

About Sanjiv Srivastava’s tenure, an MCI insider told Governance Now on conditions of anonymity: “He was fed up of being asked to follow verbal directions to ignore deficiencies and grant permission to a college in south India and to increase MBBS seats in a few Madhya Pradesh colleges without conducting inspection.”

Another high-profile former member of MCI’s board of governors (BoG) said NEET could have been enforced a year earlier but for the tactical delay caused by vested interests (reference: BoG minutes dated July 7, 2011 and October 17, 2011.)

MCI sources also said conditional letters of permission were issued for the first time to colleges facing substantial evidence of irregularity in reports of the central bureau of investigation (CBI) and central vigilance commission (CVC). Fake faculty, fake patients and connivance with the assessors were used to obtain recognition from the MCI.

According to sources, despite irregularities reported by CBI and CVC, the BoG headed by Dr KK Talwar issued conditional letters of permission (LOPs) to four colleges (National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Jaipur; Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar; Muzaffarnagar Medical College; Teerthankar Mahavir Medical College, Moradabad) on March 31, 2012.

The MCI also took some arbitrary decisions favouring some colleges caught in a sting operation conducted by Tehelka magazine in 2011, while discrediting others.

Perhaps in a bid to please the political masters, the BoG headed by Dr KK Talwar granted seats to Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, even without consent of affiliation, an essential requirement for increasing PG seats (reference: minutes of BoG meeting on January 23, 2012, item number 13).  The college had submitted consent of affiliation on March 15, 2012, which was after the last date of submission of application (i.e. May 31, 2011). Besides, to favour Sree Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Ernakulam, compliance inspection in August 2011 was done after the cut-off date (June 30, 2011) and the college was granted approval ignoring discrepancies.

As per norms, MCI has no power to conduct any inspection after the last date.

But under the garb of improvised inspection process coupled with a new incumbent novice secretary every year, the inspection has become a formality. For the past two years, there has been an undue delay in conducting first inspections for all new applications for the academic year for setting up new medical colleges, increasing seats and renewal of permission (i.e. recognition).

As per regulations, every college/application is given an opportunity to make up the deficiencies identified during inspection and is allowed a personal hearing before making a final decision.  The rules are flouted by not giving an opportunity to the colleges for compliance and PG seats are allotted in an arbitrary manner without consideration of the existing infrastructure and manpower duly complied by the colleges leading to unprecedented rise in litigation and wastage of public money.

Comments

 

Other News

Taming turbulence in Indian aviation

The booming Indian aviation industry, among the fastest growing sectors in the world, is projected to be valued at $40 billion by 2027. But, despite robust demand for air travel across the country, more than 50 airlines have closed down in the last decade in India and most private airlines have closed with

PM Modi leaves for G7 Summit in Italy

In his first foreign visit after taking oath of office for the third time, prime minister Narendra Modi Thursday evening left for Italy to participate in the G7 Outreach Summit. “At the invitation of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, I am travelling to Apulia region in Italy to participat

Some market talk, some gossip – learnings over tea at RBI

A Fly on the RBI Wall: An Insider’s View of the Central Bank By Alpana Killawala Rupa Publications, 248 pages, Rs 595  

Coalition politics not expected to impact India’s foreign policy

Prime minister Narendra Modi has strived incessantly to bring laurels and much needed recognition for the nation since May 2014 when he was sworn in as the head of state. The poser which can be deliberated upon is this: What will be the consequential impact of the new era of coalition politics which confro

New govt`s first decision pushes for farmer welfare

The BJP-led NDA government has started its term with its first decision relating to farmer welfare. Narendra Modi took charge of office as prime minister of India for the third time on Monday, a day after he and his colleagues were sworn in by the president of India. In his fi

Narendra Modi takes oath for third term

Narendra Modi made history Sunday evening as he was sworn in by president Droupadi Murmu for a third successive term. Modi thus becomes the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to have comptered two full terms and beginning a third consecutive term. In the swearing-in c

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter