Dehradun: Aggravated with the delay in counselling process which is pending since last two months, over 300 MBBS students at the defunct Shridev Suman Subharti Medical College (SSSMC) have now threatened to sit on a protest outside state secretariat from March 4.
As mentioned in a recent report by TOI, the MBBS students will take the step if the government fails to begin their counselling.
Two weeks ago, the government had assured the commencement of admission process for 150 MBBS students to other private and government medical colleges across the state on the basis of their NEET score. It was decided that those who score high will be shifted to 3 government medical colleges and those who get low marks will get admissions at 2 private medical colleges in Uttarakhand.
The medical college was shut down after various discrepancies were noticed in the institute. Medical Dialogues had been extensively reporting about the controversial case of self-financing Subharti Medical College. On December 6, the Supreme Court had ordered the Uttarakhand government to take over the land, buildings and assets of the Medical College within 24 hours and run it as a government entity thereafter.
This decision was taken in view of the petitions filed by a group of 74 NEET qualified students, who were admitted to the first year MBBS course. The students moved the apex court saying that as there was a lack of infrastructure and faculty, they should be transferred to any other medical college in the state.
At that hearing, the Deputy Advocate General (DAG) of Uttarakhand J K Sethi told the bench that the state would be willing to take over the college along with its entire infrastructure and assets, both movable and immovable so that it could meet the norms of MCI and affiliated with Dehradun’s Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Uttarakhand Medical University (HNB Medical University).
The SC had made it clear that if the university affiliates the institution and MCI grants requisite permission, the students can sit for the first-year examination of MBBS course to be conducted by the university.
In the next hearing, the state revealed the irregularities that persisted at the Subharti University. The DAG Uttarakhand stated that the institution was making a “mockery of education” and all the students were being taken for a ride.
It was submitted that apart from a medical college, Subharti authorities were running a paramedical college, a nursing college, a pharmacy college, polytechnic and computer science colleges, a journalism institute, a management college, science and arts college, and even a yogic science college. All these colleges were being run on 13.59 acres whereas a 20-acre campus is mandatory to run just one medical college.
After the SC order on its shutdown and acquisition by government, the Subharti management announced winter vacations till January 15.
Earlier, the government was planning to amalgamate Subharti University with the HNB Garhwal University. However, with no update on the amalgamation, the MBBS are confused as to which university will conduct the examinations.
Further, in an affidavit filed with SC on January 15, the MCI backed the idea to shift MBBS students of the medical college to other medical colleges running across the state.
In 2017, the MCI had inspected the medical college and found several deficiencies. The same year, the medical education governing body barred the medical college from admitting students for the next two academic years. However, the MCI did allow the 150 MBBS students who taken admission to the college in 2016, to continue their studies in the same premises, saying their degrees will be valid.
Later, the state government decided to start the admission process for 1st and 2nd-year MBBS students; which meant to have begun within two weeks. The officials had informed that both year students will be again made to sit for the first-year exams after the medical college is allotted to them.
The criteria on how these MBBS students will be shifted was finalized by the committee constituted by the state government on the special orders of the apex court to adjust the students of Subharti Medical College in private and government medical colleges. The committee had also retained the orders of the apex court which has said that 2nd-year MBBS students will also have to reappear in the first-year exam after admissions.
Even after the submission of the final report by the committee set up by the government on how these students will be adjusted in state-run colleges, the government’s approval is still pending.
Now, two weeks being over; the MBBS students group of Subharti students have submitted a memorandum to the Uttarakhand Director General of Medical Education saying that their future is in the lurch as they have already wasted many months and that the government was not even starting the counselling process.
The students have threatened of a protest on March 4, if the government fails to begin the counselling process.
Delay from Subharti Management
Speaking to TOI about the holdup, Dr Hemchandra Pandey, Vice-Chancellor of HNB Medical University; who is heading the committee formed by Uttarakhand government, in this case, said that the delay is happening because of SSSMC administration and not from the side of state government.
“We have asked for the list of MBBS students from SSSMC administration to start the counselling process but they haven’t provided it yet. We will start the counselling process as soon we get the details of the students,” he added.