Dr Rajeev Sood of the NMC said medical colleges have nothing to be afraid of.
Around 150 medical colleges in India are at risk of losing their recognition from the National Medical Commission (NMC), the central body that regulates medical education and practice in India. The NMC has cited inadequate faculty and non-compliance with rules as the reasons for the potential derecognition.
However, speaking to NDTV, NMC's Dr Rajeev Sood, has assured that the derecognition of medical colleges is not a new thing and colleges can appeal their case.
Forty medical colleges have already lost their NMC recognition and now must show that they are following the set standards in order to regain their accreditation. The NMC has said that it will not hesitate to derecognise any medical college that does not meet the required standards.
"This is not new. Monitoring has become stricter and inspections have been done before too," Dr Sood told NDTV. "Being derecognised is also not a final decision. They are given a chance and can appeal to the NMC within 30 days after completing compliance.
"A second appeal can be made by the colleges to the Health Ministry. In this too, 30-30 days time is available. If there is a technical issue, then it can be resolved within 45 days."
The NMC is considering revoking the recognition of about 150 medical colleges in seven states, including Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Assam, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, and West Bengal. The NMC found that the colleges were not complying with the set norms, and that there were several lapses related to CCTV cameras, Aadhaar-linked biometric attendance procedures, and faculty rolls.
Dr Sood said the medical colleges have nothing to be afraid of if they have complied with the set of rules mandated by the NMC.
"So far, around 18 to 20 medical colleges have appealed their derecognition," Dr Sood said. "There are four boards in NMCs, and after being scrutinised by them, the appeals come to the governing body."
The number of medical colleges in India has increased by 69% since 2014, according to government data. There were 387 medical colleges in India in 2014, and this number has increased to 654 as of 2023, as reported by news agency PTI.
Additionally, the number of MBBS seats has increased significantly from 51,348 in 2014 to 99,763 in 2023, an increase of 94%. The number of PG seats has also increased significantly, from 31,185 in 2014 to 64,559 in 2023, an increase of 107%.
In the past, there have been many instances where private colleges have been unable to complete their courses, even after being given a chance. These problems are not as common in government colleges, Dr Sood said.
"Talks are underway for counseling and intake right now; students in the second, third, or fourth year have nothing to worry about," he said.
The government has taken several measures to increase the number of medical seats in the country. One of these measures is a centrally-sponsored scheme that provides funding for the establishment of new medical colleges. Under this scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved, and 94 of them are already functional. These new colleges have added a total of 15,700 MBBS seats to the country's medical education system.