The Medical Council of India (MCI) has agreed to issue letter of permission (LoP) for the new medical colleges of Kashmir at Anantnag and Baramulla, for intake of their first batch of students this year.
On Thursday, MCI, in separate communications to Government Medical College Anantnag and GMC Baramulla sought undertakings from the principals of the two colleges. “The Board of Governors has come to a conclusion that a letter may be issued for obtaining certain essential documents in connection with issuance of LoP for establishment of new medical college Baramulla/Anantnag with annual intake capacity of 100 students in MBBS course from the academic session 2019-20,” read the communications.
Principal secretary health and medical education, Atal Dulloo said that the letters from MCI were a ‘good news’ for the students here and communicated that the Council had agreed in principle to issue LoP for starting MBBS at the two colleges from this year itself. “The undertaking is being sent and in a few days, we will get a formal letter of permission from the Council,” he said. With this, he said, the State will have 200 additional MBBS seats, 100 each at GMC Anantnag and Baramulla.
The undertaking/acceptance of conditions sought by MCI, include ensuring infrastructural facilities in terms of teaching and non-teaching staff, buildings, equipment and hospital facilities as per MCI norms; that requisite funds will be allocated till the facilities are fully provided; that no student will be admitted till a formal LoP is received.
While other upcoming medical colleges across India have an additional clause seeking guarantee to allocate 15 percent of their seats to all-India quota, colleges in J&K, the letter states, are exempted from this.
The letter has underlined that a formal letter will be issued on ‘receipt of a compliance report’ regarding the three laid down conditions and a bank guarantee. The colleges have been given three days to furnish the requisite documents after which the LoP will be issued.
Principal GMC Anantnag, Prof Showkat Ahmed Jeelani said that the undertaking was being furnished. “We will send it today only,” he said.
The decision to issue LoP has been taken after examination of the assessment reports of the sites, compliance and undertakings submitted by State government and after considering the observations of the expert group of MCI, the letters reveal.
An official in health and medical education department said that LoP for intake of 100 students each was expected for GMC Kathua and GMC Rajouri as well. “At Doda, if the permission is issued at all, it will be for 50 students only,” he said.
The aspirants for MBBS in J&K are anticipating an addition of 500 seats this academic session in the five new medical colleges sanctioned in 2014 at Baramulla and Anantnag in Kashmir and Rajouri, Kathua and Doda in Jammu. The colleges were announced to give a boost to state’s health sector, as part of Centrally Sponsored Scheme for establishment of New Medical Colleges attached with existing District/Referral Hospitals. However, for years, no progress was made on the colleges. In the past two years, the Government had taken up making the colleges functional as a “focus area”.