Just a year after its MBBS seats were doubled, it’s back to square one for Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).
The Medical Council of India (MCI) has sent a letter to the Union government, recommending a slash in the number of seats at the Dhanbad-based institute from 100 to 50 after inspections on the Saraidhela campus earlier this year revealed that it had failed to upgrade itself in terms of faculty and space.
A copy of the letter reached PMCH on Tuesday.
The news has come as a huge blow for the sole state-run medical college of Dhanbad, which increased its seats last year and had also finished admitting students.
The seat slash, if carried out, will, however, be for the 2014 academic session. It will have no bearing on the students, who were admitted in 2013.
Principal of PMCH P.K. Senger said: “We increased the number of seats from 50 to 100 as per a central government order issued last year. Now, we will have to again abide by the Centre’s diktat if it decides to halve the number in light of MCI recommendations.”
“I have forwarded the letter to the state health and family welfare department along with suggestions to address the shortcomings that have been pointed out,” he added.
According to the principal, the letter cited acute shortage of staff and faculty members as the main reason behind the MCI move. A large number of posts of professors and associate professors are lying vacant in several departments like psychiatry, radiology, microbiology, anaesthesia, dental, paediatrics, anatomy, surgery, anatomy and EGT.
But Senger pointed out that it could be sorted out by promoting the existing lecturers.
On lack of teaching space, he added that the labs of some departments like orthopaedics were small in size but the situation was not same with other departments. “One has to consider the fact that the college building was constructed more than 40 years ago,” he said.
A senior teacher of the college, requesting anonymity, said that being a state-owned college, PMCH had little scope of manipulating numbers with regard to faculty position unlike private colleges.
“The private medical colleges do a lot of manipulation and show more number of teachers during MCI inspections. But we did no such thing,” he added.
“Our position with respect to teaching faculty is quite better than many private colleges. But it’s true that there is a staff crunch for which we have already written to the state government,” the principal added.