Karnataka medical students return from Ukraine, but colleges not likely to accommodate them
We cannot admit more students unless a bill is passed in Parliament to allow the accommodation of additional students.
BENGALURU: Though the Indian government is extending help to bring back Karnataka’s students from war-torn Ukraine, this may not translate into the students getting admission in medical colleges in India. This puts the future of students in question, given that they cannot return to Ukraine immediately.
Under the National Medical Commission (NMC), there is a prescribed number of seats for each medical college, explained Dr Naveen S, principal, Rajarajeshwari Medical College and Hospital. “For instance, in our college, there are 250 seats. In other colleges in Bengaluru, there are between 150 and 200 seats. We cannot admit more students unless a bill is passed in Parliament to allow the accommodation of additional students. Depending on the infrastructure, quality, faculty, the number of seats is fixed for each college,” Dr Naveen said. Similarly, Dr Mallikarjun Basavanneppa Sanikop, principal, The Oxford Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, said even one seat cannot be added, as per NMC rules.
“The available infrastructure is for the stipulated number of seats in the college. NMC is the statutory body and will not permit additional seats unless an amendment is made to the Act by the Government of India. If it approves, we can accommodate the students on humanitarian grounds. If 1,000 students return now, how can we suddenly accommodate them,” questioned Dr Sanikop.
Higher Education Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan said the state will discuss with the central government how to get the students admitted in colleges here, as their careers must not be affected. “It is possible to do so with engineering students, but there are limitations when it comes to medical colleges,” Narayan said.
Dr S Sacchidanand, former Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, too said it is not possible to accommodate these students as NMC gives out limited seats, based on minimum standard requirements of the college. “Even if they relax this rule, the number of students to be accommodated will be huge. These are students who could not get seats here earlier and went abroad to study. If we accommodate them on humanitarian grounds now, we will not be honouring the merit system.”