PATNA: The Union health ministry has conceded Bihar government’s request not to slash its 350 MBBS seats. Though an official communication to this effect is still awaited, the state health department officials have confirmed having received the positive news unofficially.
The Medical Council of India (MCI), at a meeting last month, had decided to slash 350 MBBS seats in different medical colleges of Bihar for 2015-16 academic session. The medical colleges at Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Bettiah and Pawapuri were under the scanner of MCI which had objected to the faculty shortage of more than 10%. This year, the MCI was ready to relax even if the shortage was 30%. But the five colleges in Bihar could not survive the MCI axe despite the relaxation.
After the MCI recommendation to the Union health ministry, Bihar government made several representations in Delhi. Not only the principals of the respective medical colleges gave undertakings, principal secretary of health department Brijesh Mehrotra himself gave an undertaking saying all the deficiencies would be removed in time-bound manner. The MCI, at its last meeting this month, stuck to its stand and recommended to the ministry not to allow admission on 350 seats as the last date to accept the undertaking or compliance was over. It had put the ball in Union health ministry’s court.
The MCI had recommended seat reduction in Sri Krishna Medical College, Muzaffarpur, from 100 to 50. Seats in Anurgrah Narayan Magadh Medical College (Gaya) and Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (Bhagalpur) would have been reduced from 100 to 50 each. The MCI also refused to grant permission for admission in government medical colleges at Bettiah and Pawapuri. Both the colleges had 100 seats each. Other than Bihar, medical colleges of only Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were facing seat cut.
State health secretary Anand Kishor said, “It is learnt that the Centre has provided us relief. Any official confirmation will come on Monday.” He added, “Now the faculty shortage has been reduced to less than 10%.”
MCI had warned of slashing 410 seats last year too. Consequently, Bihar health minister Ramdhani Singh had requested the then Union health minister Dr Harshvardhan to reverse the MCI’s decision and assured him that all the deficiencies would be removed in a time-bound manner.