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Private medical path for passouts

The state government has initiated a process that will culminate four-and-a-half years later in the first batch of the state’s doctors passing out of a private medical college.

Admitting that the government-run medical and dental colleges were not equipped to cope with the rush for an MBBS or a BDS degree, senior health department officials said that the government notification allowing candidates successful in the state government-conducted Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) to study in a private medical or dental college was signed on Tuesday.

“We have issued the government order that makes it possible for us to accommodate JEE crackers in private medical or dental colleges,” state director of medical education Chittaranjan Maity said. The first private college to get to teach JEE crackers is the Guru Nanak Institute of Dental Science and Research.

Officials say the government move serves more than one purpose. Besides giving more students the opportunity to graduate as doctors, this move will — in one stroke — help the government stop worrying about the “bothersome” Medical Council of India (MCI) inspections and its prior approval for starting under-graduate courses.

“The state government will now be able to route several JEE crackers into these colleges,” a senior health department official said. “And it will be these colleges that will have to worry about getting MCI permissions and hosting MCI inspections.”

There was no hiding the state government’s discomfiture following MCI inspections at its medical colleges in the recent past, and the repeated failures to get MCI approval to open under-graduate courses at SSKM Hospital, University College of Medicine and the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.

According to the arrangement the government has worked out with the Guru Nanak Institute authorities, 50 per cent of its seats must be reserved for candidates routed through the JEE. The college will be free to fill up the remaining seats.

The fee structures will be different for the two sections. The JEE-routed students will pay an annual tuition fee of Rs 40,000, besides a (refundable) caution money of Rs 10,000 and an admission fee of Rs 1,000. The annual tuition fee for the 50 students admitted by the college will be Rs 2.09 lakh; other fees will stay the same.

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