NEW DELHI: Newly notified regulations on medical college assessments have formulated in a way that allows Medical Commission (NMC) not to make the assessment reports public. This is in spite of the Central Information Commission (CIC) advising the NMC to upload medical college assessment reports on its website while hearing a complaint against the commission in this matter. Despite the CIC’s letter to the NMC in March, the new regulations side step a stipulation to upload full college assessment reports, as the erstwhile used to do, by stating that assessment results (and not the reports themselves) will be made available in the public domain.

Why is it important to have full college assessment reports in the public domain? These reports give details of the physical infrastructure, patient load and staff that the college management claims are available in the college along with details of what was actually found during the physical inspection and identify the inspectors who did the assessment. They help students, faculty or public call out any false claims either by the college or by the commission’s inspectors.

Section 26(e) of the NMC Act 2019 states that the Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) of the NMC, which determines the procedure for assessing and rating medical institutions, shall “make available on its website or in public domain the assessment and ratings of medical institutions at regular intervals in accordance with the regulations made under this Act”. Also Read [NEET: Check Out Top Dental Colleges In India For BDS Admissions This Year]

However, section 25 of the new regulation states: “the MARB shall make available on its website or otherwise in the public domain the latest annual assessment results and ratings of medical colleges or medical institutions, in such a manner as to facilitate public understanding and consumption.” The erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI), which had disbanded for lack of transparency, used to upload the assessment report of every inspection of every medical college and all reports over the years for a particular college were available on its website.

This allowed for comparison of reports to see what were the claimed deficiencies or sufficiency and what changes happened over time. But the new regulation says “latest annual assessment results” will uploaded, which seems to mean that not only will results replace the complete assessment reports, but also that only the latest will available so that no historical data will be available.

Along with stopping detailed inspection reports from being put in the public domain after it constituted in September 2020, the commission also removed the assessment reports already uploaded by erstwhile MCI. The new regulations called Establishment of Medical Institutions, Assessment & Rating Regulations 2023, which deal with establishing of new medical institutions, starting new medical courses and increase of seats in existing medical institutions, were notified on June 2. These regulations replace the Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999 of the erstwhile MCI, which amended in July 2018.

Sources from : [The Times Of India]

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