To maintain the quality of medical education across the country, the Medical Council of India (MCI) is planning to set up a grading system for the 381 medical colleges across the country. MCI will soon propose to the Union health ministry the need for an accreditation council for medical colleges.
Currently, only engineering and other colleges are graded, which is done by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
NAAC keeps tabs on the performance and infrastructure of colleges and accordingly awards grades — A++, A+, A, B++, B+, B and C. It is an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission of India to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country. It is an outcome of the recommendations of the National Policy in Education (1986) that laid special emphasis on upholding the quality of higher education in India.
MCI president Dr Jayshree Mehta said, "We will soon propose to the government the need for a grading system for medical colleges. It will be like a NAAC inspection, wherein a three-member expert team will visit colleges and see the kind of academic activity and research going on there."
"Through this grading system, an eye can be kept on these colleges," she added.
Welcoming the idea, a senior doctor said, "If the government does set up such a system or council for the medical colleges, it will be of great help to the students. While most of the government medical colleges have managed to maintain their standards, the same can't be said about private ones as they lack sufficient qualified teachers. Also, infrastructure isn't up to the mark in many colleges. The setting up of such a system will expose all these shortcomings."
President of Maharashtra Medical Council Dr Kishor Taori said, "This is a good move. Through this system, students will came to know which colleges are good and which are the best in the state as well as country. During an inspection, a committee will see the college's infrastructure, teaching strength, how active its alumni are and what kind of extra-curricular activities it conducts for students, among other things. After looking at all the aspects, the committee will prepare a report and decide on what grade to give the college.