HYDERABAD: Nursing students of the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Hyderabad on Tuesday took to the streets in protest against the administration’s failure to get the Indian Nursing Council’s (INC) recognition for the five-year integrated master’s course in nursing sciences.
The course was introduced in 2008 by the then vice-chancellor Prof Sayed E Hasnain and the School of Medical Sciences had at the time assured the students that recognition would be secured in due course. However, on Dr Geetha K Vemuganthi, Dean of the School informing that the current batches have no chance of passing out with INC recognised certificates has put the students in a spot of bother. Around 80 students comprising four batches will be affected if the course doesn’t get an INC recognition.
The students, who have been boycotting classes, staged a demonstration in the garden in front of the administrative block in a novel way, by cooking and having their lunch there itself. “We are peacefully protesting and we will not bow down,” said V Prasanth, a student of fourth-year, IMSC Nursing Sciences.
According to the school, the application for recognition was submitted in January last year. “The five-year course is not there in the Indian Nursing Council’s programme. So we are revising the course now to combine Bachelor’s and Master’s in four years. The proposal has been submitted to the INC and a response is expected by July this year,” Dr Geetha told City Express.
Asked about the anxiety the students were facing, she replied, “Once the course gets recognized, we will request the INC to recognise the existing students also.”
The students, though, are not convinced. They believe any professional course in nursing is useless without the INC’s recognition and are understandably worried about their job prospects.
“The certificates without INC’s recognition will not be valid. We will not get jobs and will not qualify for higher studies,” said Prakash Kodali, a third-year student.
He also doubted the varsity’s claim that it is putting pressure on the council to grant recognition for them.
“If the INC asks for proof regarding the course being run by the university in the past few years, I doubt if they would be able to do so. We do not have a regular curriculum, and had no regular faculty till recently,” he explained.
There are also concerns that the university may discontinue the course till recognition is acquired.
Asked about the same, the dean said, “We are awaiting a response from the council. We will take a new batch only after receiving recognition which we are hopeful of getting soon.”
The course is one of the most expensive courses in the university with the students paying around Rs 28,000 on an average per semester.
“We did not think twice before joining. We fell for the name and reputation of the Central University,” rued V Ramya, a third-year student.