Vellore: The Christian Medical College, Vellore which recently completed its 100 years of imparting medical education to some of the brightest students in the country, this year is hopeful of being allowed to follow its 70-year-old selection process for student admissions. The college, like many other private medical colleges had lost its rights to conduct admissions via its own examinations and selection process, after the introduction of NEET.
In 2017, Ida Scudder established CMC Vellore, sent the entire country to shock after it a full stop to its admission process demanding rights to select NEET qualified students through its own counselling as against the mandated centralized counselling by the committee set up by the MCC and the state government for All India and State Quota, respectively.
Before the introduction of NEET, the admission process at the institute included a battery of steps apart from entrance exam including aptitude test, commitment to serving in rural areas and social service. However, as per recent policies, students are only going to be admitted based on their marks in NEET. Objecting to the fact that these important aspects of a student are not revealed in the marks secured by a medical college seat aspirant in the NEET, the institution has put a full stop to its admissions for 2017-18.
It admitted a single student of the mandatory a Central government quota– to its undergraduate medical course. The matter is now pending with the Supreme Court
According to Anna B. Pulimood, Principal of the CMC, that the new regulations initiated by the Central government were the biggest challenge the college was confronted with presently.
“The new regulations were brought to control corruption in admissions in the country and curb malpractices. But this comes down hard on all colleges. We do not have anything against these regulations. We have been conducting a fair and transparent admission for the last 60 years, and courts have given us clearance,” she explained to the Hindu.
In common counselling, seats are allocated in accordance to marks scored by students, she said, adding, “We want students with good marks but we want to go beyond and choose those who are committed to serving. We want permission to have extra tests to fulfill our mission as we want students who will work in rural areas, who are practically oriented, with teamwork and leadership skills.”
According to her postgraduate and super specialty courses, saw clinically-skilled candidates chosen. The CMC authorities were hoping to resolve issues pending in the Supreme Court before the commencement of courses for the next academic year. With a case pending in the Supreme Court, the CMC hopes the issue would be solved before the next academic year.
J.V. Peter, Director CMC, said it was not just eligibility of students but also “suitability”.
“This whole process of interviews, group tests, individual tests and assessment of mental aptitude is in place for 70 years, even before the Medical Council of India was formed,” he added.
Having established a one-bed dispensary in 1900 to provide maternal care, the hospital’s founder Ida Scudder wanted to train Indian women to be doctors, Dr. Peter said.
August 12, 1918, saw the first 18 women’s batch of Licentiate Medical Program students began. “A women’s college for medicine was almost unheard of,” he added. 1947 had male students enter the portals for an MBBS course.
Innovation in education, observes Dr. Peter to be the college’s focus. “We want to make our education relevant and contemporary.”
Specialties like neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgery found a place in the college making it a first in these fields of education said Dr. Pulimood. added “We are trying to make it as relevant and as best as possible to this time,” she added to the Hindu.