The government’s decision to ask Calcutta University (CU) to continue to affiliate the courses taught in the city’s five homoeopathy and ayurvedic medical colleges has jeopardised the fate of a few hundred students who will be taking admissions to the institutions this year.
The government had earlier decided that all categories of courses in medical science, including allopathy, dental, homoeopathy, ayurveda and nursing, would be brought under the single umbrella of the newly-set-up West Bengal University of Health Sciences from this year. The new university was set up by formulating an act last year.
If the affiliations of the homoeopathy and ayurvedic colleges are retained with CU, it will have to award students the degrees after they complete the courses. But students fear the CU degrees may not be considered valid because CU’s medical faculty was dissolved after the new varsity came into existence.
“We are negotiating with the government to ensure that the students do not have to suffer,” said S.K. Bhattacharya, principal, Government Homoeopathy College. M.M. Choudhury, vice-chancellor of the umbrella university, however, said: “We cannot register students in homoeopathy and ayurvedic medical courses from this year because we have found that some of these institutions lack proper infrastructure.”
“Nearly 975 students, who have taken admission to the seven medical colleges and one dental college this year, have been registered under our new university. When these students complete the courses they will get their degrees from us,” Choudhury added.
The new university’s refusal to take over the homoeopathy and ayurveda colleges from this year, however, has caused concern to the CU authorities. “CU does not have the powers to affiliate courses in any branch of medical science after the new campus was set up. We do not know what will be the fate of the students in homoeopathy and ayurvedic medicines if we award them their degrees,” said Manoj Bhattacharya, former dean of CU’s medical faculty.
Homoeopathy students threatened to take up the matter with the government. “The government cannot play around with the academic careers of innocent students. It must give us in writing that our careers will not be jeopardised if we are awarded degrees by CU,” said a homoeopathy student.
Sources in medical colleges said the career of students, who seek admission to homoeopathy medical institutions in the districts may be affected as well, since the medical faculties in the universities to which they were attached so far have also been dissolved.