KATHMANDU: Ministry of Education has asked Tribhuvan University to grant Institute of Medicine affiliation to Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, clearing the way for MMIHS to run MBBS courses.
In a letter to TU’s Executive Council, Education Minister Chitra Lekha Yadav issued the instruction to Vice Chancellor’s Office, saying MMIHS is ready to run MBBS classes.
“MMIHS has every right to run the courses, as it has already obtained the letter of intent from the education ministry,” Yadav has told TU authorities. Sources at the education ministry claimed that the minister, who is also Co-Chancellor of TU, was not willing to write to TU Vice Chancellor’s Office, but yielded under pressure from the ruling coalition partners. The letter was issued on August 14.
Acting chief at the VC Office Bishnu Prasad Aryal confirmed receiving the minister’s letter, but said the Executive Council was yet to take further action on it.
One of TU’s Executive Council members said the Council was under pressure from the government and political sections to accelerate the pace of granting IoM affiliation to MMIHS. CPN-UML lawmaker Rajendra Prasad Pandey is Chairman of the MMIHS board.
The vice-chancellor and the Executive Council are reluctant to oblige to adhere to co-chancellor’s instructions but indicated a collusive design in the run-up to TU’s Assembly slated for September 7. A decision to grant permission is very much on the cards, say TU sources.
Should a decision to grant affiliation is taken, the TU and IoM Dean’s Office will be on a collision course yet again, since IoM is unlikely to oblige to the decision “unless the education ministry comes up with a new policy responding to a report submitted two months ago by an IoM study committee”.
“IoM Dean’s office stands firm on its position that new colleges should not be affiliated to IoM to run MBBS classes,” Prof Rakesh Prasad Shrivastav told this daily. “Granting affiliation will violate the agreement between the government and the Nepal Medical Association, including Dr Govinda KC.”
According to that agreement, no new medical colleges would be affiliated to IoM within the Kathmandu Valley unless there are clear policies to regulate and monitor upcoming private medical colleges. Nepal Medical Council also remains firm on its stance. Council Chairman Dr Damodar Gajurel said NMC was against granting affiliation to new medical colleges in the Valley.
Former dean Dr Prakash Sayami had quit IoM in December, exposing intense political pressure on him to grant affiliation to new medical colleges, including MMIHS. Of the 21 operating medical colleges affiliated to TU, Kathmandu University and others in the country, most are based in either the Kathmandu Valley or urban city areas. The colleges produce over 1,800 MBBS doctors every year.