No Admission in Three Jharkhand Medical Colleges Inaugurated by PM
The National Medical Commission has prevented the 3 colleges from taking admissions due to lack of infrastructure.
Almost two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the inauguration, three medical colleges in Jharkhand have not enrolled students in the 2020-21 academic session, after the National Medical Commission (NMC) prevented these institutions from taking admissions due to ‘deficiencies’ in infrastructure.
In the 2019-20 session, around 580 MBBS seats were allotted across six medical colleges in Jharkhand.
However, since the NMC stopped admissions to the three medical colleges in Hazaribagh, Dumka and Palamu, the number of MBBS seats in Jharkhand dropped from 580 in 2019-20 to just 355 in 2020-21.
Consequently, there has been a massive shortage in the number of MBBS seats in Jharkhand this year, with only three government medical colleges – MGM College Jamshedpur (100 seats), RIMS Ranchi (180 seats), PMCH Dhanbad (50 seats) – as opposed six.
Additionally, a private medical Manipal-Tata Medical College, Jamshedpur, has about 25 seats under it.
Seat Crunch Leaves Students in the Lurch
Chandrashekharam, the parent of an MBBS aspirant who had cleared NEET in 2020, said that when the medical entrance test was conducted in September last year, there were around 680 MBBS seats across six government medical colleges in Jharkhand.
He asserts that admissions to these three colleges were stopped, as soon as results for NEET 2020 were declared.
“My son, Mayank Shekharam, got 568 numbers in the NEET exam. Yet, he did not get admission. If my son was born in other states of the country, he would have got admission in MBBS. Cheating took place in Jharkhand, where do we go for justice now?”Chandrashekharam
According to Chandrashekharam, the Manipal-Tata Medical College can only be accessed by the rich, as the private institution charges an annual fee of Rs 11 lakh. Whereas, in the other states, “private medical colleges of Manipal charge four lakh annual fees,” he asserts.
Abhishek Kumar, who had scored 675 marks in NEET (UG) 2020, couldn’t secure admissions as the cut-off stopped at 603 marks in Jharkhand. With seats available only at the Manipal-Tata Medical College, Kumar is thinking of appearing for the NEET again in 2021.
“What do I do? The fourth counseling is about to begin. But the seat is not vacant, except for the private medical college Manipal-Tata. Can’t take admission there, where will I get this much fee?”Abhishek Kumar
But Kumar cannot find peace in appearing for NEET again. “If the same thing happens next year, what will I do?” he asks.
Crippled by Lack of Resources
One of the institutions that was inaugurated by PM Modi in 2019 and was later banned by the NMC due to lack of facilities is the Hazaribagh Medical College. It’s Principal, Dr SK Singh, pointed out a crippling lack of infrastructure at the facility.
He says that infrastructure does not only refer to buildings, but also includes instruments, equipment and laboratories. Referring to MCI’s charge that there’s a 30 percent shortage of faculty in the college, Singh said that faculties from Jamshedpur, Ranchi and Dhanbad medical colleges were transferred here.
“I am running a college according to whatever infrastructure was given to me. Sadar Hospital was upgraded to Medical College Hospital. But the facilities that the NMC requires are not there. The college started last year on the initiative of the Supreme Court. But the basic needs of the hospital could not be fulfilled due to the coronavirus pandemic.”Dr SK Singh, Principal, Hazaribagh Medical College
CM Soren Writes to NMC
On 5 November, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had written a letter to the chairman of the NMC, urging him to not stop fresh admissions of medical students to Dumka, Hazaribagh and Palamu medical colleges.
In his letter, CM Soren stated that installation of some equipment could not be completed due to the COVID lockdown.
“The state government is fully aware and committed to fulfill the requirements of the NMC norms. However, certain finishing works in the building infrastructure and installation of some equipment and furniture, etc., could not be completed due to the lockdown imposed in March this year.”Hemant Soren, in his letter to NMC
Banna Gupta, Jharkhand’s Health Minister said that the state government as well as CM Soren have spoken to the Union Health Minister about admissions to all three medical colleges.
Asserting that around 86 people have been posted in three colleges, Gupta said that the NMC’s decision has made the future of around three hundred children bleak.
“It is not necessary that there should be a single-party government in the country and the state. That is why any government is a federal government, and there is no difference of opinion among the governments on the issue of public interest. Now, the central government should take cognizance of this issue,” he said.
Jharkhand’s Battle With NMC
For decades, medicine was taught at three government colleges – MGM, Jamshedpur, RIMS, Ranchi and PMCH, Dhanbad. In February 2019, during the Raghubar Das government in Jharkhand, three new medical colleges – Hazaribagh, Palamu and Dumka – were inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
These colleges, however, were refused recognition by the NMC, which had pointed out several gaps in infrastructure.
Jharkhand had then moved the Supreme Court, which allowed the state to enroll 300 students across the three new medical colleges. Consequently, students were admitted to these colleges in the 2019-20 session and their course is still active and underway.
Ashok Kumar Gupta, a parent, said that while other colleges across the country were being allowed to run, the new ones in Jharkhand, which are in the same condition as other colleges, were being prevented from operating. This, he said, was a “huge injustice” to the students of Jharkhand.
Gupta also said that parents have advised Chief Minster Soren to approach the Supreme Court and not write to the NMC, as it will be of no use.
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