Is Centre indulging in politics when it comes to approvals for medical colleges in Karnataka?

Sources indicated that rejection did not mark the end of the road, as efforts could be made to secure approvals for the next year
What is happening in Karnataka?
What is happening in Karnataka? (Pic: The New Indian Express)

Is there politics behind sanctioning and approving a medical college? Congress leaders assume there is politics involved.

They urged the union government, "Please grant us permission to start medical colleges in rural areas like Kanakapura and Ramanagara; it will benefit many rural students."

Cabinet Minister Ramalinga Reddy bluntly stated that the union government needs to be fair and impartial.

He alleged that the BJP-led union government was not fair because the National Medical Commission (NMC), which operates under union authorities, rejected necessary approvals to start medical colleges in Ramanagar and Kanakapura citing insufficient infrastructure.

Ramalinga Reddy emphasised the need for medical colleges in Ramanagar and Kanakapura, which are largely rural areas, stating that such institutions would benefit the entire region, stated a report by The New Indian Express.

He urged the union government to avoid petty politics in these matters.

Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) DKS has been actively working to bring medical colleges to these areas and was presumably displeased with the National Medical Commission's decision.

Kunigal Congress MLA Dr Ranganath D, who is a doctor himself, expressed disappointment that Ramanagar and Kanakapura were excluded.

He suggested that the decision may have been politically motivated, possibly targeting the current Deputy Chief Minister who hails from Kanakapura.

Dr Ranganath D, speaking from his medical expertise, highlighted Ramanagar's suitability for clinical practice and argued that a college there would serve students from surrounding rural areas like Chennapatna, Malavalli, and Magadi due to excellent connectivity, benefiting rural students significantly.

DCM DK Shivakumar refrained from commenting on the political aspects but expressed a desire to establish a medical college in the district, noting it was included in the budget. He mentioned hearing about staff shortages as a reason for the rejection and pledged to investigate further.

Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil, in an interview with The New Indian Express, confirmed that the National Medical Commission approved medical colleges in three locations: Bagalkot, PES Medical College in Electronic City, and BGS Medical College in Nagaroor, a suburb of Bengaluru.

However, they cited incomplete infrastructure as the reason for rejecting the applications from Ramanagar and Kanakapura. Karnataka currently hosts 22 government medical colleges, along with 2 ESI colleges and over 70 private medical colleges.

These three new additions were intended to expand this network.

Sources indicated that rejection did not mark the end of the road, as efforts could be made to secure approvals for the next year.

Former Bangalore Rural MP DK Suresh, representing both Kanakapura and Ramanagar, expressed deep disappointment, "It is extremely disheartening that Ramanagar and Kanakapura did not receive permission to establish government medical colleges, which would greatly benefit the underprivileged. Although they cited faculty infrastructure as the reason, we were willing to meet all their requirements. They asked us to reapply next year. It is sad; it is the rural students who lose out the most."

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