Suryakant Jena

Rourkela: A few days after a controversy surfaced over establishment of a medical college at the campus of Rourkela-based National Institute of Technology (NIT), the authorities of the institute today ruled out the chances of a medical college in the campus at least for the next two years.

“We are a leading technological institute but do not have enough experience in the making of a medical research institute and hospital. So after detailed consultations with planning bodies of reputed medical institutes who have the knowhow, we shall pursue the matter seriously," Chairman of the Board of Governors of NIT Rourkela, Santrupta Mishra said.

Mishra said the authorities will not be able to comment anything on the issue at least until June 2019.

After getting a proposal from the Union Health Department, we tried to move ahead with intent to set up the medical college but realised that not only norms pertaining to funds, infrastructure, faculty, regulation as per the Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines have to be fulfilled, but also there are far more issues legally as well.

Clarifying further, Mishra said “We are operating under the NIT-Act and so, whether establishing a medical college would be permissible remains to be seen. Since it is a matter of discussion at the parliament level we will have to wait and see.”

Earlier last week, a controversy surfaced over the issue amid conflicting directives of the Union Health and the Human Resource Development ministries.

While, the Health ministry had in April wrote to the director of NIT-Rourkela to submit a project proposal for establishment of a medical college and hospital with advanced research facility at the institution, no application was submitted by the institution citing lack of infrastructure for the purpose after a letter from the HRD Ministry stated that the since the institute comes under the NIT Act they are not authorized to award medical degrees.

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