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Nursing council ‘overrules’ Punjab
Refuses approval to BSc (Nursing) in 7 colleges
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 5
In a sharp rebuff to an unprecedented move of the Punjab government, the Indian Nursing Council (INC) has refused approval to seven colleges in the state to start the BSc (Nursing) from this academic session.

The state government had allowed these colleges to admit students without waiting for the INC approval. Interestingly, these colleges were not even affiliated to the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, which affiliates all colleges offering the BSc (Nursing), apart from medical and dental colleges.

In a virtual last-minute notification, the department of medical education and research headed by minister Tikshan Sud and secretary Jagjit Puri permitted these seven colleges to participate in the counselling from November 14 to 17 and admit students provisionally subject to university affiliation and INC approval. All other 25 nursing colleges, which took part in the counselling, had both the INC approval and university affiliation.

In a communication received by the university yesterday, the INC has asked it not to admit students to these colleges for the current session, saying that the “INC would not be responsible for the students admitted therein.”

Both the INC and the university conduct inspection of colleges in terms of infrastructure, clinical facilities, faculty, etc before allowing the colleges to admit students. None of these inspections were carried out in these seven colleges.

What compulsions could have led to this last-minute largesse is anybody’s guess but the entire exercise smacked of blatant misuse of authority. What the government did, in fact, was to stand on its head the entire process involved in approving nursing colleges to run courses.

The INC guidelines prescribe that any institution wanting to open a nursing college or school has to first take a no-objection or essentiality certificate from the state government. Thereafter, the INC undertakes the first inspection to assess its suitability.

The guidelines state: “After the receipt of the permission to start the nursing programme from the Indian Nursing Council, the institution shall obtain the approval from the State Nursing Council and the examination board/university.” The institution can admit students only after this permission has been taken.

In this case, however, these seven colleges managed to get permissions from the Punjab State Nurses Registration Council to start the course, bypassing the INC.

Even more appalling was the fact that the government decided on its own how many seats these colleges could offer for the course. The government allowed 60 seats each to be filled in Mata Sahib Kaur College of Nursing, Mohali, Mai Bhago College of Nursing Taran Taran, Baba Farid Educational and Medical Research Society, Faridkot, Kular Medical Education and Research Society, Kishangarh, Ludhiana, and Rattan Professional Educational Society, Sohana. Another 50 seats were granted to the Bengal Institute of Health Sciences, Raikot, and 20 additional seats to the Shiv Shakti College of Nursing, Bhikhi.

The latest communication of the INC to the university notes that two of these seven colleges had not even applied to the INC for approval. In the third case, the proposal for approval was received by the INC on November 5 and would be eligible to be considered only for the next academic session.

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