Dhanbad: CCTV installations at the Medical Council of India’s (MCI), directive have created an uproar of sorts at Patliputra Medical College Hospital(PMCH). With students calling it a violation of privacy. The college administration has however, expressed helplessness in the face of the installation having being done at the behest of the MCI directive.
Explaining their reservations about CCTV cameras in the classrooms, the students said they learnt about various organs, including private parts and their functions, in anatomy and physiology classes.
“If CCTV cameras are installed in classrooms, we won’t feel comfortable clearing our doubts with teachers on any subject,” said one on conditions of anonymity.
“Such an action would be unethical. In anatomy classes, we are given male and female bodies to study organs and their functions. There is complete privacy, and discussions are conducted freely because there is nobody but students and a teacher present. Footage from CCTV cameras will be accessible to people outside the laboratories, and they will be in a position to play mischief,” the student added.
However, PMCH Principal, Dr Arun Kumar expressing helplessness said “The council clearly stated that cameras should be installed in classrooms, laboratories, lecture halls, demonstration rooms, practical rooms and several other locations across the campus.”
“We have to keep the council informed about classroom interactions, besides daily engagements between students and faculty members,” Kumar added. They had no option but to follow directions, he clarified
Mr. Kumar further stated that the directive specifies that all activities in the campus be captured through CCTV cameras, and later screened live in the principal’s chamber. This he said was to be done to keep the MCI updated on institutional academic activities.
Students, however, insisted that the management make efforts to have surveillance equipment removed from their anatomy and physiology classes.
The other two state-run medical colleges in Jharkhand – the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital (MGMCH) at Jamshedpur and the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) at Ranchi – are yet to install CCTV cameras.
An MCI spokesperson revealed that the camera installation decision was taken in February, at a meeting of state members. “They all strongly recommended the installation of cameras in classrooms. Around 100 medical colleges will be covered in the first phase,” he added reports the HT.