Amidst soaring demand for MBBS seats, matched by record capitation fee collections, one thing has gone unnoticed thus far. The Medical Council of India (MCI) has either refused or withdrawn recognition for at least half a dozen medical colleges in Tamil Nadu, and none of the colleges has been able to win any reprieve from the Madras high court till now.
In effect, these colleges which have a combined student intake of more than 700 have realized to their dismay that the Supreme Court-stipulated deadline of July 15 for grant of MCI recognition too has gone by, with the high court refusing to show them the usual indulgence. “Now that the deadline for recognition has lapsed and the high court too has not come to their rescue, these medical colleges have no hope this year, unless the Supreme Court relaxes or extends the deadline. Even the MCI cannot do anything about it without the apex court’s nod,” a senior advocate arguing the case told TOI on Wednesday.
The medical colleges which have queued up before the high court are: Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research with 150 seats; Madha Medical College and Hospital for renewal of recognition to admit 150 students; Tagore Medical College and Hospital for renewal of recognition to admit 150 students; Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute for grant of recognition to admit 150 students; and Sri Devi Karumariamman Educational Trust for recognition to start admitting students for its new college.
Two other colleges – Asan Dental College and Hospital in Chennai and Mookambiga Dental College and Hospital in Kanyakumari district – have been refused permission by the Dental Council of India to admit 100 students each during this academic year. Another medical college – Mahathma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute – has been disallowed from increasing its intake from 150 to 250.
The names of Adhiparasakthi institute and Sathya Sai medical college figured in a CBI case, and a city court had discharged both of the promoters from the case. After that, they challenged the derecognition on the ground that in view of their discharge from the criminal case, their recognition should be restored. Their matters are now pending before the ethics committee of the MCI. When Adhiparasakthi’s case for resumption of recognition came up for hearing before Justice K K Sasidharan, the judge had suo motu impleaded the CBI also a party to the proceedings, in order to elicit its views in the matter.
All these institutions are before the Madras high court hoping to circumvent the MCI’s denial orders by obtaining at least an interim order of stay from the court. “Usually they succeed in getting an interim order and then start admitting students, cocking a snook at the MCI administration. Not so this time. With the high court adopting a tough stand this year, we do not know how to advice these clients,” said another lawyer involved in the litigation. As per the apex court order in the Mridhul Dhar (minor) and Others Vs Union of India case, the last date for obtaining MCI recognition is July 15, and the deadline for completing the entire admission process is July 31, he pointed out.