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KOCHI: Kerala Medical College at Palakkad is staring at closure with state government deciding to move its 150 students to other private medical colleges. This is the first private medical college in the state from which students are set to be withdrawn as college authorities failed to get Medical Council of India’s (MCI) permission.
The college secured permission to admit students in 2016-17 and it took in 150 students. “We are trying to relocate the students of Kerala Medical College. We held a discussion with private medical colleges and there are enough colleges to take the students. Now, we will write to MCI to enhance the seat at these colleges and once MCI agrees, the students will be allocated to new colleges,” said additional chief secretary (health) Rajeev Sadanandan.
The director of medical education had called a meeting of private medical college authorities on March 5 to discuss the issue. This comes after students approached the high court requesting reallocation to other medical colleges. As per the essentiality certificate issued by the government while starting a medical college, if any college closes, then it is the duty of the government to take over the students and move them to other medical colleges. The college management gives a bank guarantee.
“Government has already started proceedings to take over Kerala Medical College and requested us to accept students. Except Christian management-run medical colleges, all of us have agreed to accept students. This is a result of ‘overbuilding’ medical colleges in state,” said Kerala Private Medical College Management Association president Dr Fazal Gafoor.
Private medical managements are struggling to survive and of the 23 private medical colleges, 18 have not paid salary to faculty for nearly six months. So, there is no surprise that two institutes, granted permission to start medical college this year, have withdrawn their proposal.
“This year, nobody approached us to start a medical college. Two institutions that had earlier sought permission have withdrawn. Medical colleges are no more a profitmaking venture and given the fact that government has taken over the allocation of seats, even favouritism is not possible. We don’t need new medical colleges,” added Sadanandan.
Meanwhile, Kerala Medical College’s management claimed that it had the infrastructure to run a medical college. “We have submitted an affidavit to MCI to conduct reinspection,” said college director Subhash Gopinath.