Bowing to student pressure, the government has finally embarked on an exercise to include the homoeopathy and ayurvedic medical colleges under the jurisdiction of the newly-set-up West Bengal Health Sciences University. The government will conduct a series of inspections in the 11 homoeopathy colleges to check whether their standards are suitable enough to be brought under its health university.
“Allopathy, dental and nursing colleges have already been brought under the new university umbrella and we have also started registering students in the MBBS and degree courses in dental science and nursing from this year. Now, we will examine the homoeopathy colleges and start bringing them under the varsity fold, as soon as we get the inspection reports,” said M.M. Roychowdhury, vice-chancellor, West Bengal Health Sciences University.
After the health university was set up last year, the affiliations of all allopathy, dental and nursing degree colleges in Calcutta and across the state were transferred to it from the respective state-aided universities. An Act was formulated for the purpose.
Accordingly, students who took admission to the first-year MBBS course in these allopathy, dental and nursing colleges this year, were registered under the new university. It implies that after completion of their course, they will be awarded their degrees by the new university.
The homoeopathy, ayurvedic and Unani medical colleges, however, continue to be affiliated to their original universities. The registrations will remain valid this year, too, and after completion of courses, their students will be awarded degrees by the same universities.
Students at these colleges fear their degrees may not be considered valid. By the provisions of the new Act, the existence of medical faculties in universities like Calcutta and Burdwan stand dissolved with the emergence of the health science university.
Admitting the fears were not unfounded, Manoj Bhattacharya, former dean of the medical faculty of Calcutta University, said though its medical faculty no longer exists, the university had been directed by the government to run the homoeopathy courses. “We understand the students’ problem. But we have to function on the government instructions,” Bhattacharya added.
S.K. Bhattacharjee, principal, Government Homoeopathy College, Salt Lake, however, allayed fears. Calcutta and the other state-aided universities offering the homoeopathy courses could still award degrees by the Central Council of Homoeopathy, the apex regulatory body in the field, he declared.