The government’s decision to ask Calcutta University to continue to take care of the courses taught in the five homoeopathic and ayurvedic medical colleges of the city has put a question mark on the legality of the certificates to be issued to the students of these institutions.
The government had earlier decided that all medical disciplines, including homeopathy and ayurveda (besides, of course, allopathy, nursing and dental), would be brought under the umbrella of the recently set up West Bengal University of Health Sciences (WBUHS) from this year. The new university was set up following the formulation of an act in 2002.
WBUHS has already been handed over charge of three disciplines (allopathy, dental and nursing). But CU is still in charge of homoeopathy and ayurveda. The degrees, too, will be awarded by CU. But students fear that the degrees might not be considered valid as the university’s medical faculty was dissolved when the younger university was established.
WBUHS vice-chancellor M.M. Chaudhuri explained that it cannot “give homoeopathic and ayurvedic medical students our registration as we have found that the institutions to which they belong are still lacking proper infrastructure.
“But all the students admitted to the seven medical colleges and the lone dental college this year have been registered by us. When they pass out, the degrees they get will be awarded by WBHUS,” he added.
The WBUHS refusal is causing concern to the CU authorities. “CU does not have any power to give affiliation to any course in any branch of medical science after the establishment of the new varsity. We do not know what the fate of these students studying homeopathy and ayurveda will be if CU awards them the degrees,” former dean of CU medical faculty Manoj Bhattacharya said.
“We are now engaged in talks with the state government to ensure that the students do not have to suffer,” said Government Homoeopathy College principal S.K. Bhattacharya. A similar fate awaits students of the homoeopathic and ayurvedic colleges outside the city. Homeopathy students say they, too, are going to take up the matter with the government.