250 Manipal medicos future at stake

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Bangalore, Oct 2: Who will be those unlucky 250 students of Manipal to get a gate pass? The future of 250 students at Manipal is at stake as the Union Ministry of Health has asked the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal and Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Mangalore, both affiliated to Manipal University, to halve their 500 admissions for 2008-08. On Monday, Sep 29, the ministry informed the colleges that the last date for the transfer of 250 students is Tuesday, Sep 30. But the colleges had completed admissions for 500 medical seats on Wednesday, June 18, 2008, as per schedule.

However, sources in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told the two colleges had been warned earlier but had decided to go ahead with the admission process. The ministry has extended recognition to the KMC institutions till 2013 for their MBBS course. However, in a 500-strong batch of 2008-09, 250 students will have to be shown the door.

“We are not looking into the nitty-gritty but this order should not come as a surprise to them. It is unlikely that the order will be revoked, and if they do not comply by the next academic year, the colleges will again be derecognised," the official said.

This order comes after a series of inspections at the KMC colleges, done by the regulatory body, the Medical Council of India and the state government.

"The regulatory authority is singling us out. We feel harassed and this treatment is singularly unfair," Anand Sudarshan, MD and CEO, Manipal University, said.

Since 1988, the KMCs have been permitted to admit 500 students, with 92 seats being allotted under the state government quota, as part of the CET quota.

Ruling out seeking redressal from the courts, Dr H S Ballal, pro-chancellor, Manipal University, said, "We stand by our students and have seen zero withdrawals from the programme. We will continue to have a dialogue with the ministry to resolve this issue."

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