The National Medical Commission has informed the Union health ministry that the Centre-run Lady Hardinge Medical College lacks infrastructure facilities for training of MBBS students under several parameters which is in violation of the commission's rules and regulations. A letter in this connection was sent by the National Medical Commission (NMC) to the ministry on June 27.
This communication was in response to the ministry's query regarding the commission issuing a show-cause notice to the college in 2022 for stoppage of admissions over non-compliance of deficiencies pointed out by the erstwhile MCI in its assessment conducted in 2008.
"Since the denial/postponement of assessment by Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) is violative to the statutory provisions as contained in 'Establishment of Medical College Regulations 1999' of obtaining the continuance of recognition within a period of five years, a show cause notice was given by NMC in 2022," the Commission said.
"Being found deficient at various parameters, the college authority was requested to submit the compliance after rectification of the deficiencies. The last compliance submitted by the college was in March 2009," the letter said. Meanwhile, the NMC said MBBS seats were increased from 150 to 200 at LHMC from the academic year 2011-12 in order to implement OBC reservations. Thereafter, inspections were scheduled from time to time by the MCI (Medical Council of India) for verification of facilities of CoR at LHMC, but the college has not allowed the conduct of these assessments to date, the letter stated.
"Most of the communications of Council/Commission addressed to LHMC remained unresponsive despite pursuance," it pointed out. Thereafter, in the academic session 2019-20, LHMC was further permitted to take admission from 200 to 240 MBBS seats annually for implementation of the EWS quota in educational institutions. "It may clearly be seen that the number of MBBS seats has been doubled in the last decade, but no assessment has been done to verify the facilities available at the medical college and its associated hospital," the NMC said.
The NMC's letter to the health ministry also highlighted that the commission has been constituted for the development or regulation of all aspects relating to medical education, the medical profession and medical institutions, and to promote the qualitative improvement of medical education in the country in relation to planned quantitative growth.
"Clause 8 of the Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999, which is reproduced as under (2) the recognition granted to an undergraduate course for the award of MBBS degree shall be for a maximum period of three years, upon which it shall have to be renewed (3) the procedure for renewal of recognition shall be same as applicable for the award of (4) failure to seek timely renewal of recognition shall invariably rent in stoppage of admissions to the concerned undergraduate course of MBBS at the said institute," it said.
The NMC said the LHMC director, in a communication dated July 2, 2022, informed that a Comprehensive Redevelopment Plan for LHMC on a massive scale for increasing infrastructure, as per MCI norms for a capacity of 200 students, was started in 2012 and due to some inadvertent reasons in 2013, the construction work was stopped till February 2019.
"However, it will further take eight to nine months to get it fully functional for teaching and training purposes. With this submission, the Director, LHMC requested to permit LHMC for continuation of admission for the academic year 2022-23 and the inspection may be carried out in the next academic year," the letter said.
The NMC added that "it is clear from the communication from Director, Lady Hardinge Medical College that the infrastructure facilities to train 240 MBBS students is still deficient at LHMC. The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) always takes appropriate action against such medical colleges which are not fulfilling the NMC's norms and regulations".