| The administrative block of Patna Medical College and Hospital that houses the library. The facility has not got a single medical journal for several years. Telegraph picture |
In the past five years, medical science has advanced quite a few notches but that hardly made any difference to students and researchers of Patna Medical College as not a single journal has reached them.
The reason is simple. Several irregularities were found in purchasing journals in the 2008-09 session.
A PMC professor on condition of anonymity said the PMC had not bought journals since 2008, which is violation of one of the Medical Council of India (MCI) norms, according to which medical colleges have to buy journals regularly for updating the knowledge of its students.
He added: “Reading journals is quite important for medics because the journals would update unlike the books. While today one can browse the Net to get more information about a particular subject but it may not come handy for a student always. Not all students all the time have access to the Net. Our students are forced to buy journals like the Journal of American Medical Association, Journal of Indian Medical Association and Canadian Journal of Public Health from market which should have been provided by the college itself.”
Another PMC professor, who also did not wish to be named, said: “Our postgraduate students, who have to do a lot of research, face many problems because of non-availability of journals. It is of utmost important for them to know about the recent developments in the medical science.”
He added: “As our college is not providing latest journals to them, they have found their own way. Now they go to Delhi-based National Medical Library where they get all the latest Indian and foreign medical journals. Some students also download journals from the Net. Not only the students but professors who conduct research works also face problems because they need to be updated with latest information to carry out research. Journals help us know about the invention in the med- ical science.”
N.P. Yadav, the PMC principal, said: “We have purchased journals in 2008-09. We have not been able to purchase journal only for the last two years and there is no fault of us in this because in the previous years some irregularities had been found regarding the purchase of journals by the head of the departments concerned. The irregularities are not fully clear yet so we are not purchasing any other journal. The audit matter has to be solved first.”
A first-year MBBS student at PMC student said: “We don’t get latest journals in our college but this is not the only problem we are facing. The condition of our library is very pathetic which hardly has seating arrangements for around 30 students while it should have a capacity for around 125 students. In one corner of the library, many books have been piled in a way that it looks like a hill. There are many air-conditioners in our library but all of them have become non-functional. We hardly go to the library also.”