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State U-turn on medical courses

A circular from the state health department, asking Calcutta University (CU) to continue the medical courses in the seven state-run medical and dental colleges in Calcutta and elsewhere in Bengal has put CU in a fix.

University officials said on Sunday they were “surprised” on receiving the order, as they had already dismantled their medical faculty after the government set up the state’s first full-fledged medical university. All the state-run medical colleges have been brought under a single umbrella of the new University of Health Sciences.

Sources in the CU said it was “illegal ” on the part of the government to issue such a circular after passing a medical university Bill. “By the legislation, CU is no longer empowered to run any medical course. It is highly illegal for the government to ask for a re-affiliation of the courses as the Bill clearly states that all medical colleges will be brought under the purview of the new medical university,” they said.

University officials said they will now have to set up a medical faculty all over again. “The government has directed us to continue to run the courses till further notice. In a similar order earlier, we were told that the courses will no longer remain under our jurisdiction,” pointed out Manoj Bhattacharya, CU’s dean of the medical faculty.

Health department sources said the failure to set up the infrastructure of the new university had prompted the government to retain the old order. This year’s medical session is scheduled to start from July-August.

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