New medical board given time for granting college licenses

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The central government Sunday extended the last date for giving permission to new medical colleges and renewal of recognition to existing ones by a month, official sources said.

Official sources from the health ministry said that the decision was taken following a request from the six-member board of governors which took over the functioning of the Medical Council of India (MCI) earlier this month.

The letter of permission grants medical colleges the license to conduct medical courses. The last date for giving the letter of permission will now be July 15.

The board of governors, led by eminent gastroenterologist S.K. Sarin, took over the functioning of the MCI after it was suspended following the resignation of its president Ketan Desai. Desai was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on corruption charges.

Sources said the board had written to the health ministry asking for more time to consider the proposals for giving permission. The board in its letter said it did not have enough time to consider the proposals as it has taken over May 24. The last date for giving permission was earlier scheduled June 15.

The board at present has recommendations for 87 colleges from the MCI pending with it. These colleges were approved by the MCI before it was suspended.

‘There are 87 proposals for granting permission to various medical colleges all over the country for the academic year 2010-11 and the same are currently under evaluation by the board of governors,’ a senior official from the ministry said.

The official, however, added that the extension of time period given to the board is only applicable for the current academic session.

‘It has been clearly mentioned that this extension is applicable only for the academic session 2010-11 as an exceptional case,’ the official said.

The board of governors will be overseeing the functioning of MCI for a period of one year.