Fate of medical college in Rourkela hanging in balance

Bhubaneswar/Rourkela: The proposed medical college at National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela is in a limbo amid conflicting directives of the Union Health and the Human Resource Development ministries.

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.

It also sought a proposal between June 15 and July 7, but no application was submitted by the institution citing lack of infrastructure for the purpose.

“We received a letter from the HRD Ministry that under the NIT Act, we are not authorized to award medical degrees,” said NIT registrar SK Upadhyay, adding that a proposal for an alternate medical research centre is there but it is still under the consideration of the institute’s board.

While it is alleged that lack of coordination among the two ministries is creating the problem, some accused that the Centre is intentionally delaying the matter to mislead people.

“Establishment of medical college is not possible in NIT. We had earlier told the same. The Centre is trying to mislead people for the sake of votes,” alleged BJD leader, Anand Chandra.

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Congress’ Birendra Senapati also lashed out at the NDA-led Central government accusing it of misleading people of Rourkela for political gains.

However, BJP leader Nihar Ray blamed NIT authorities for the ambiguity over the matter and alleged that the NIT failed to provide relevant documents.

“The HRD Ministry just informed about the norms but that doesn’t mean Rourkela will be deprived of a medical college,” added Ray.