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Medical colleges fall short of norms, finds CAG report
Aditi Tandon/TNS

CAGís damning report

90 pc private, over 50 pc govt medical colleges donít meet minimum faculty standards

5-yearly inspection of medical colleges, mandated by the MCI, not being followed in most cases

On occasions, even Health Ministry disregarded MCI recommendations to not allow certain interested parties to set up new colleges

New Delhi, December 11
In a damning report that mirrors the shocking state of medical education in India, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found over 90 per cent private medical colleges inspected between 2004 and 2009 and over 50 per cent of government medical colleges similarly reviewed running without ever meeting the minimum requirements for faculty and residents.

Worse, the prescribed five-yearly inspection of medical colleges, mandated by the Medical Council of India to maintain standards of medical teaching, is not being followed in most cases.

Out of 63 medical colleges studied, 56 (89 per cent)were inspected after a period ranging from 6 to 16 years. Inspection norms were hugely relaxed for the famous Lady Hardinge Medical College which was last inspected after a gap of 16 years despite reporting faculty shortage to the extent of 45.53 per cent where the allowed teaching shortage (as per the MCI norms) is just 5 per cent.

SN Medical College Agra and MLN Medical College Allahbad were inspected after 13 years while the JIPMER Puducherry was last inspected after 11 years. 

Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi were all inspected after 10 years.

In Punjab, Government Medical College, Patiala, was reviewed after eight years despite its faculty shortage of 18.72 per cent and Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, was inspected after six years even though it is among the worst in maintenance of faculty and resident standards and has teacher shortage to the extent of 51 per cent (5 pc is allowed) and resident shortage of a whopping 70 per cent (where just 10 pc is allowed). These shortages are among the highest in India. Government Medical College, Chandigarh, also does not meet the faculty requirement norms and has 9.4 per cent shortage.

In other findings, CAG has revealed that on many occasions, even the Health Ministry disregarded MCI recommendations to not allow certain interested parties to set up new medical colleges. Between 2004 and 2009, the council got 255 applications for feasibility of establishing new colleges. Out of 71 cases approved by the ministry, in four cases of government colleges, the MCI had objected to permission. But the ministry went ahead to award the same. These colleges include three from Karnataka - Shimoga, Hassan and Raichuir Institutes of Medical Sciences.

Likewise, in 11 cases of renewal of permission for yearly admission and two cases of starting PG courses, while the MCI had not recommended permissions, the Ministry ordered the same. Some colleges that benefitted include - the Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Theni Medical College, Tamil Nadu, Command Hospital Kolkata and the Institute of Mental Health, Agra.

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