People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 37

September 11, 2011



CPI(M) Parliamentary Office


IN this week, while speaking during discussion on the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2011, T N Seema asked the health minister whether there was, after the dissolution of the Medical Council of India, any improvement in the quality of medical education. She asked how we can ensure the quality of medical education if proper infrastructure is not in place and qualified teachers are not available in medical colleges. In many private colleges, there are not enough patients or clinical materials. When some inspection committee comes, the management brings patients in vehicles to put up a show before the committee. Then, how can we trust our lives in the care of such doctors? There is a problem of transparency in admissions as well. Many private colleges and so-called deemed universities do not follow the MCI rules for admissions. The only way to regulate them is through a central legislation. The new Medical Council proposes to conduct a national test for admission to all colleges. This has problems. The state governments were not adequately consulted about it. Also, what is the use of such a common test if it does not cover the private medical colleges and the so-called deemed universities? The present regulations for MBBS and PG admissions need amendments. The seats of ST students are going vacant and given to general candidates. The Kerala Assembly proposed exemption of ST students from the entrance test and enacted a law exempting the government doctors and teachers in medical colleges from the common entrance test. The member urged the government to talk to the MCI about changing the regulations for PG admissions by giving relaxations for in-service candidates.


Speaking on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2011, Susmita Bauri said the amendment was for taking the juveniles suffering from various diseases from children’s homes to nursing homes and hospitals. But who would bear the cost of their treatment? Is there any provision of punishment for officials of children’s homes who do not take such children to a nursing home? There are no basic facilities like drinking water, clean toilets and education in children’s homes. Juvenile offenders are ill-treated in juvenile homes, which should not happen. The member said hostel like facilities should be provided to such children so that they do not feel that they are offenders. There must be workshops to impart them technical education so that they earn a livelihood after they come out of these homes. Moreover, juvenile homes are not there in every state. The cases of juvenile offenders are not disposed within the stipulated period. The pending cases in juvenile courts should be expedited. It as also important this amendment must not remain confine to paper.


On the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill 2011, Saidul Haque said that as education is in the concurrent list, the centre should have consulted the states before this amendment.  He asked for recognition to all those candidates who have completed the teachers training prior to 2009. Secondly, the NCTE has created a lot of problems in West Bengal. It is taking bribes while making inspections. Haque suggested that there should be no NCTE; teacher education must be imparted by universities. Also, the government is encouraging private players to open training colleges, making it a kind of commodity. They are not observing the reservation policy while appointing teachers. There must be some control over them. A uniform norm should be there regarding teacher-pupil ratio. There must also be a West Bengal kind of School Service Commission for appointing teachers. Absenteeism of teachers should be looked into. Teachers must not be given non-academic works. The centre must also frame a model code of conduct particularly for private institutions. Teacher education is a continuous process and its pre-service and in-service components are inseparable. The present DEd and BEd syllabi need updating to meet the requirements of quality. A committee of experts from the NCERT, SCERTs and DIETs should design the need-based syllabi and courses of study.


In Rajya Sabha, Moinul Hassan said we need to conserve our cultural heritage sites. The Archaeological Survey of India, the Department of Archaeology and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage have taken various initiatives to protect these assets, but the result has been dismal. Proper maintenance of these sites is required to boost the inflow of tourists in the country.


T N Seema drew attention to the serious issue of increasing threats of sexual harassment, molestation and rape facing the women passengers in trains or station premises. She urged the government to fill up the thousands of posts lying vacant in the RPF and take other measures to ensure the safety of women passengers in trains.