The Union health ministry has banned 82 medical colleges from accepting students for its academic session 2018-19.
This comes after the CBSE announced NEET 2018 results .The latest order means more than 10,000 seats out of the total 64,000 MBBS seats normally available will be blocked.
The JP Nadda-led ministry has also rejected the proposal to approve 68 new medical colleges. The government has rejected the proposal of establishing new medical colleges, four in Bihar and two in West Bengal.
Twelve government and 70 private colleges were denied permission to admit students. As many as 10,430 seats will be blocked. The ministry has also refused permission to 31 new government colleges and 37 new private colleges.
The rejection will mean a loss of about 15,000 seats, including 10,000 in existing colleges.
This will force many aspirants to go to Russia, China and other such countries where getting admissions in substandard colleges is easier than getting through NEET.
Some of the owners of the existing medical colleges that have been denied the affiliation told media this will make it very difficult for them to continue the medical college even for the existing students, who have been admitted into first and second years.
The fate of 20,000 students, who are already enrolled in such colleges also hangs in balance.
At stake is an investment of nearly Rs 20,000 crores. While most of the existing colleges rejected are private, the new ones have a good number of government colleges among them.
Private college management have accused the MCI of being too stringent and vindictive in rejecting their applications and cite examples, where colleges could have been given time to fulfil certain shortcomings, given India is very short of the required number of doctors.
"On one hand the government is setting up more and more medical colleges and on the other, is rejecting those who have made heavy investments,'' an owner said.
Some of the management have moved courts and at least two colleges have taken stay against the MCI rejection but the MCI has filed an SLP against the stay.
While granting the stay, Rajasthan High Court said the MCI was not following rules and appeared predetermined to reject affiliation applications.
MCI, on the other hand, has charged the colleges of not abiding with the stringent provisions to run a medical college.
It is rarely that MCI rejects affiliation application at such a large scale. This is why many private colleges are suspecting a hidden agenda behind it as government and the MCI have been of late liberal in allowing recognition to medical colleges in eastern Europe, Russia and China.
However, MCI in the past has been accused of taking bribes to grant affiliations. Now, it is to be seen how these rejections will be handled subsequently.