Times of India, Aug 22, 2015
Bikash Khemka & Ashok Pradhan,TNN Aug 22, 2015, 03.40 PM IST
BHUBANESWAR/BHAWANIPATNA: The state government is likely to transfer 124 students of Sardar Ramjas Medical College in Kalahandi district to other institutions, a government response to a petition in Orissa high court said.
The students have been agitating in front of their college since July 30 seeking government intervention to rescue them from the continued uncertainty since the college has no infrastructure and faculty to meet statutory norms of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
Hearing a petition filed by students, the high court on August 19 said advocate general S P Mishra had submitted in the court that the state "would take all necessary steps to try and ensure that the future educational needs of the students are not in any manner affected". To this end, the AG has asked for time to initiate discussion with health secretary Arti Ahuja and institutions where these students could possibly be accommodated, the bench of I Mahanty and D P Choudhury said.
On August 4, the HC had asked the health secretary and the director medical education and training P C Mohapatra to visit Selvam Educational and Charitable trust, which runs the Kalahandi college, and submit a report before the court.
MCI counsel R C Mohanty told the court that if the state government requested for transfer of the students who have already been admitted, it would deal with the matter forthwith.
The HC will hear the matter again on August 25.
Junagarh MLA Divya Shankar Mishra told reporters in Bhubaneswar that since the future of the students is involved, the government would take a positive stand. "Hopefully, the students will be moved to other colleges if MCI gives its nod," he said.
While 100 students took admission in 2013-14, 24 others were enrolled in 2014-15. The MCI had given provisional approval to the college in 2013-14. Since the institution could not meet the eligibility norms, the MCI declined recognition in 2014-15. The college managed to admit the students that academic year on the basis of a Supreme Court order on its petition.
Addressing a news conference in Bhubaneswar, the students on Friday said the college did not have a single permanent faculty member while the hospital was completely defunct. "The state must intervene since the college is a public private partnership project," they said.
The college was established by the Tamil Nadu-based Selvam Educational and Charitable Trust. The state government had given Rs 10 crore and 25 acre land after the trust signed an MoU with the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC). The WODC had taken the initiative to establish the institution to remove inequality in medical care in the tribal dominated area.