CM promises, officials struggle

Announcement to add 50 more seats to Bankura medical college 'not feasible'

As she showered sops after sops at a rally in Bankura, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had little realisation that one of her announcements could send the officials of health department, which she heads, in a tizzy.

Mamata on Wednesday told the people of Bankura that 100 seats will be increased at Bankura Sammilani Medical College and Hospital (BMCH) as against the proposal of increasing 50 seats next year.

However, the announcement has made the officials of health department look for ways to fulfill the promise since the last date of submitting application for fresh approval of medical seats to Medical Council of India (MCI) has lapsed on September 30. The state government has sent the proposal for increasing 50 seats at the BMCH for approval. Health officials said it's not possible to increase another 50 seats this year.

Dr SN Banerjee, Director of Medical Education, said at first it was decided that 50 seats will be increased at all 13 state-run medical colleges. Consequently, he said, the applications for approval of seats were submitted to the MCI. "We do not know how it would be possible for us to get approval of extra 50 seats for BMCH this year," he said.

The MCI rules stipulates that last date for submitting application for fresh approval of seats for the academic year of 2013, which will start from August, will have to be submitted within September 30 and it is applicable for all state run medical colleges. There cannot be a different rule for West Bengal, he added.

Senior health officials said for fresh approval of increased seats from MCI for 2014 they have to submit the application in the first half of next year and so it was not possible to increase the seats at BMCH this year according to the CM's wish.

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