The medical education in India is in a ‘rotten’ state and private medical colleges are the main reason behind it, the Supreme Court said on Friday. A 2-judge bench comprising of Justices Madan B Lokur and NV Ramana imposed fine of Rs 5 crore on Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) for allegedly playing with the future of its students and the mess that it has created for them.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) had approved 100 seats for MBBS course offered by KIMS, but the institute was granted approval for additional 50 seats in 2014-15. Following the approval, KIMS admitted 150 students in the academic session 2015-16. As per the basic guideline, MCI conducted an inspection of institute in early 2015 and found many irregularities. Based on its inspection report, MCI recommended Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for permission of additional seats to be turned down. KIMS moved to Odisha High Court, which put hold to MCI’s recommendation and allowed admissions in KIMS on additional seats in its order dated September 25, 2015. Central government also granted provisional permission to institute for additional seats.
In turn, MCI challenged the Odisha High Court’s order in Supreme Court citing the unavailability of necessary infrastructure in institute, which ruled in favour of MCI on yesterday. The Supreme Court ordered that KIMS can admit only 100 students for MBBS course for two consecutive academic sessions 2016-17 and 2017-18. The apex court bench mentioned in its verdict that students who were enrolled in academic session 2015-16, should not be disturbed. “The admission granted to 50 students pursuant to the order of the High Court dated September 25, 2015 and provisional permission granted by central government only on September 28, 2015 shall not be disturbed,” the bench said.
Over the fine, the bench ordered KIMS to deposit the amount in the Registry of Supreme Court within six weeks. Two-judge bench also asked MCI to prepare a standard operating procedure for conducting timely inspection of medical institutions under Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999 for maintaining quality education standards and make it available on the website of Council within six weeks.
The court directed KIMS authorities that the amount of Rs. 5 crore shall not be recovered in any manner from any students or adjusted against the fees or provision of facilities for students of any present or subsequent batches.
On the other hand, KIMS authorities said they will file a review petition once they receive the copy of Supreme Court’s judgement. Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) is a part of Kalinga University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha and offers MBBS and M.D courses.