NEW DELHI: Inspection of medical colleges, an exercise that was reported to be “opaque and arbitrary” under the now-scrapped Medical Council of India, is set to see a complete overhaul soon. The Board of Governors under Niti Aayog member (health) V K Paul, which was formed to replace the tainted MCI through an Ordinance last month, is planning to ensure that inspection of medical colleges is carried out in a transparent manner, with inspectors selected through a software and the entire process videographed.
“The matter was discussed in detail in the BOG meeting last week and it has been decided that a fair and clean approach for inspection (of medical college) would be adopted--something that Parmacy Council of India has already been doing,” a senior official in the medical education section of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
“It was also decided that the process of inspection will be recorded through videography so that there is least chance of any underhand dealing or extortion, and in case of any discrepancy it can be sorted out later,” the official said.
Another official explained that MCI, over the decades, had developed a system through which only a handful of teachers from government medical colleges were picked to carry out most inspections.
“We had been getting feedback that these assessments were completely arbitrary and did not give the college authorities a chance to explain--even minor issues were blown up and these were later used to extort from the college at the time of renewal,” the official said. “The complaints from new private colleges were particularly glaring,” he added.
A report submitted to the government by the Supreme Court-appointed Oversight Committee, which had eventually led to the medical education regulator’s dissolution, had also said that the Council was “extremely opaque in carrying out inspection of medical colleges, leading to a large number of complaints from most colleges”.
In response to an OC directive asking for the details of assessors, the mechanism of evaluation and their full reports, the MCI declined to share the information, saying it would be “too bulky” and would set a wrong precedent. “It would also be akin to undermining the credibility of MCI assessors who are professors of government medical colleges,” the MCI had replied to the OC.