August 29, 2010

Private institutions opposed to single entrance exam for all medical colleges

The Medical Council of India's (MCI) latest decision to introduce a single entrance exam for all medical colleges in the country from 2011, is likely to draw some stiff opposition from private unaided institutions in Maharashtra.

On August 13, MCI counsel and senior advocate Amarendra Saran conveyed the decision to the Supreme Court bench of justices R V Raveendran and H L Gokhale, which was hearing a petition that seeks the court's directives for a single window system for admissions. The Union health ministry has accepted the MCI's decision.

For now, students wanting to take up courses in medicine have to appear for at least five to six entrance tests for various colleges and worry about accompanying issues like clash of exam dates as well as travel to distant places for counselling regarding allotment of seats.

The MCI decision means there will be just one entrance test each for MBBS and MD courses offered by all 271 medical colleges 138 government-run and 133 under private management. These colleges together offer over 31,000 seats for MBBS courses and another 11,000 for PG.

Kamal Kishore Kadam, who heads the Association of Managements of Private Unaided Medical and Dental Colleges (AMPUMDC) in Maharashtra, said, "The MCI decision is against the very spirit of the Supreme Court's judgement in the TMA Pai case, which recognises and safeguards the freedom of private unaided institutions in a range of matters, including the right to admission."

The AMPUMDC controls 11 medical and 21 dental colleges in Maharashtra and also conducts a separate common entrance test (ASSO-CET) every year for admissions to these colleges. "We strongly believe that education and educational institutions must prosper without any government control," said Kadam.

On its part, the state government has shown a favourable disposition towards the single entrance exam, which would mean that the Maharashtra Health and Technology-Common Entrance Test (MHT-CET) will have to be scrapped. The MHT-CET is a combined entrance exam for admissions to health sciences, engineering and pharmacy degree courses in the state.

A senior state health department official said, "The MCI decision is good and the state government has conveyed its positive opinion for the same to the Union government." However, the official, who did not wish to be identified, conceded that much would depend on how private institutions react to the decision.

When contacted, state director for medical education and research Wasudev Tayade said, "We will follow whatever guidelines and instructions we get from the Union government and the MCI." The question of scrapping the MHT-CET will arise only when the guidelines for the MCI-proposed entrance exam are finalised and issued to the state governments, he added.

Meanwhile, Kadam said, "The government cannot be expected to interfere with the functioning of private unaided institutions, considering that the apex court has aptly defined freedom for private institutions through various judgements. For instance, the court upheld St Stephen's college's decision to put a bar on admission for students scoring below 70 per cent marks. The college took the decision to maintain a certain level of standard and this was upheld by the apex court."

Kadam said, "The government should worry about improving standards of their own colleges, it is unfair to interfere with the functioning of private colleges. Any decision relating to matters like admission, has to be in consonance with the apex court judgement in the TMA Pai case. Each private institution has the right to conduct an entrance exam of its own."

Asked about the inconvenience caused to students, Kadam said that the market forces will ensure that only the best institution survives and students will have to apply to only those institutions where they stand a realistic chance of securing admission.

The prospect of MHT-CET getting scrapped from 2011, is also causing a measure of worry for private coaching classes, which fear the national-level entrance exam would be tougher to crack for students in the state compared to the MHT-CET, which is relatively easier and carries no negative marks.

Link: Original Article

1 comment:

sam said...

I think this is a wrong decision...... To get admission in a Medical Institute one entrance is not enough....

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