Thursday, May 10, 2007


The Medical Council of India has endorsed its affiliation to SMIMS and I believe the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will have no more objection in this regard: VC

GANGTOK, May 09: State Day this year will have something more to cheer about. After years of uncertainty and delay, the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS) has finally been awarded with the recognition from the Medical Council of India, (MCI), the official substantiation of which is likely within a week’s time.

This news was confirmed by the Vice-Chancellor, Sikkim Manipal University, K Jayakumar over the phone from Bangalore today. The recognition reportedly came after a satisfied MCI delegation that returned New Delhi last month assessing agreeable academic and clinical performance of the medical college and the central referral hospital.

“The Medical Council of India has endorsed its affiliation to SMIMS and I believe the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will have no objection in this regard any more”, informed K Jayakumar, speaking to Sikkim Express today. The Vice Chancellor also informed that he will be visiting New Delhi on 14 May curtailing his existing Bangalore visit.

The official confirmation of MCI affiliation, according to Jayakumar, is expected to be at hand by 15 May with which he is scheduled to return Gangtok on 16 May, when the State will be commemorating its 33rd State Day.

The MCI delegations during its April visit accorded 83 percent score to SMIMS for possessing the necessary infrastructure needed to support the medical demands. “We had key deficiencies in terms of patient count and faculties of the institute”, Jayakumar said adding that, “The problems were accordingly reflected upon and lately we had made up for the faculty dearth as well generating more patients ourselves.”

This time, the MCI team noted that the strength of the faculty was in keeping with the Council’s requirements. According to Council norms, faculty shortage should not be more than 5 per cent, i.e. at least 95 per cent of the teaching posts should be filled.

With final year students absorbed in exams, an air of contentment seemingly swept through the campus. Although jubilant over the turn of events, students were tight lipped and refused to comment stating that they were awaiting the Vice Chancellor’s return with official confirmation of MCI affiliation.

The MCI non-affiliation earlier witnessed major outpour of frustration among the students of Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, culminating on 12 January night when hundreds of students thronged the residential quarter of Vice Chancellor with symbolic lighted candles, followed by indefinite strikes inviting the founder of Manipal Institution Dr Ramdas Pai to visit SMIMS.

Representatives of final year medical students on 16 January also placed a memorandum to the Governor of Sikkim V Rama Rao bringing into the latter’s notice about non-affiliation issue. The Medical Council of India, however approved its affiliation to the final year students and interns of SMIMS on 22 January that brought with it strict directions from the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare that SMIMS should not receive any more admission of students thereupon filling up the infrastructural gap.