Approximately 40 medical colleges across the nation have been stripped of their recognition by the National Medical Commission (NMC) due to alleged non-compliance with the standards set by the regulatory body. These developments have raised serious concerns regarding the adherence of these institutions to vital guidelines and regulations. Additionally, it has come to light that around 100 more medical colleges, including notable ones in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Assam, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, and West Bengal, may face similar consequences.
The comprehensive inspections carried out by the NMC have unearthed numerous deficiencies and instances of non-compliance within the affected medical colleges. These include inadequate installations of CCTV camera systems, the failure to implement Aadhaar-linked biometric attendance procedures, and discrepancies within faculty rolls. Such shortcomings undermine the quality and integrity of medical education, warranting immediate corrective actions to ensure the provision of standardized medical training across the nation.
Responding to the recent suspension of recognition, Dr. Abhijit Sarma, the Superintendent of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), came forward to shed light on the matter. Dr. Sarma emphasized the unique circumstances surrounding the NMC's inspection of GMCH, stating that the visit occurred on a national holiday—January 23rd—during the winter vacation period when a significant portion of the staff was on leave. Despite these challenges, Dr. Sarma asserted that GMCH promptly addressed any compliance issues flagged by the NMC, promptly submitting the necessary corrections and documentation to rectify the situation. Demonstrating unwavering confidence in the institution's compliance report and subsequent appeal, Dr. Sarma stated, "We will prove our worth, and I am certain that the NMC will acknowledge it."
The inspection process conducted by the NMC primarily focuses on evaluating teaching faculties, including their publications, attendance records, and adherence to regulatory requirements. Notably, these inspections do not encompass matters related to hospital administration. In the case of GMCH, the college was able to provide explanations for faculty absences during the inspection, citing the national holiday as the reason. Dr. Sarma emphasized GMCH's esteemed legacy and the abundance of highly qualified faculties with commendable publication records, making it exceedingly difficult for anyone to challenge their capabilities. He reiterated that the college promptly responded to the NMC's findings and expressed unyielding confidence that the upcoming appeal board meeting would yield a favorable outcome.
The cancellation of recognition by the NMC has impacted several prestigious medical colleges nationwide, including renowned institutions such as Assam Medical College, Gauhati Medical College, and FAAMC in Barpeta. These decisions were made in response to the institutions' failure to meet the NMC's prescribed standards during recent inspections. In addition to the concerns surrounding CCTV cameras, biometric attendance systems, and faculty rolls, vacancies in faculty positions were also identified during the NMC's thorough assessments.
Dr. Sanjib Kakoti, the Principal of Assam Medical College National Medical Commission conducts an annual inspection of medical colleges every year and takes note of the infrastructure, teacher to student ratio, facilities like labs which are essential for medical students.
"The Commission conducted an annual inspection of medical colleges, including Assam Medical College, on August 5 and August 6 in 2022. During the inspection, the NMC assessed various aspects such as infrastructure, teacher-to-student ratio, and essential facilities like laboratories for medical students. The NMC identified some findings regarding our college, including the implementation of an Aadhar-based biometric system for faculty attendance, inspection of CCTV cameras, and ensuring timely class schedules and other faculty-related matters." Dr. Sanjib Kakoti said.
"We demonstrated that our Aadhar-based system is functioning properly by showing the monitoring records. The cameras installed in our college were also confirmed to be in proper working order. Following the inspection, the NMC issued a compliance report, to which we promptly responded within a month." Kakoti added.
Dr. Sanjib Kakoti "In their report, the NMC acknowledged our compliance efforts, specifically mentioning that we had addressed the concerns by transferring two professors and fulfilling the required faculty positions. We submitted our response to the compliance report in March, as per the given timeline. It is not uncommon for compliance reports to be issued, as we have previously received and fulfilled such reports."
"Furthermore, we are aware that department inspections will take place in the first week of July, as per the rules and regulations set by the NMC. The inspection process involves evaluating all departments, and subsequently, a report will be submitted. Receiving compliance reports is a standard practice. We have already resolved the camera issues and fulfilled the faculty requirements, as mentioned, and submitted the corresponding report in March.", Dr. Sanjib Kakoti added.
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