IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 28th Sep 2020
Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.– Bob Riley
EDITORIAL HUNT #160 :“Medical Education in India | UPSC“
Dr. George Thomas
Medical Education in India | UPSC
Dr. George Thomas is an orthopaedic surgeon and former Editor, the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics
Diagnosing what ails medical education
Confusion over policy for human resource development and economic policy is affecting quality, equity and integrity
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Education
Medical education in India has been completely commercialised in the recent decade. Discuss the role of private entities and other stakeholders -(GS 3)
- NEP 2020 and Access to equity in Education
- Private Players in Medical Education
- NEET UG exam Analysis
- UNIVERSAL ACCESS : The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims to provide “universal access to quality education” and bridge the “gaps of learning outcomes.
- UNDERTAKING MAJOR REFORMS : This brings the highest quality, equity and integrity into the system, from early childhood care and education through higher education”.
- DESIRED OUTCOME : The outcome sought in higher education is “… more than the creation of greater opportunities for individual employment.
- MEDICAL EDUCATION : It states that the aim is to train health care professionals “primarily required for working in primary care and secondary hospitals.”
ON PRIVATE ENTITIES
- QUALITY CHECKS : Successive governments have wanted to quickly expand educational opportunities while simultaneously addressing the issues of quality and equity.
- INFRASTRUCTURE : The infrastructure required for high-quality modern medical education is expensive.
- SCARCE RESOURCES : Faced with public demand for high-quality medical care on the one hand and severe constraints on public resources on the other.
- PRIVATISATION : Private entities have been permitted to establish medical educational institutions to supplement government efforts.
- COMMERCIALISED EDUCATION : Taking advantage of the poor regulatory apparatus and the ability to both tweak and create rules, these private entities, with very few exceptions, completely commercialised education.
- REGULATIONS : On and off, there have been attempts to regulate fees, sometimes by governments and sometimes by courts.
- VIOLATION OF POLICIES : Faced with the fundamental contradiction that state has been complicit in violations of their own policies to ensure quality as well as equity.
- THE EXECUTIVE : Primarily the Medical Council of India, has proven unequal to the task of ensuring that private institutions comply with regulations.
- DIFFERENT OPINIONS : When the courts are approached, which issues are seen as important depends on the Bench.
- NEET-UG ENTRANCE : It is well known, though not easy to prove, that entrance examinations being held by almost all private colleges were a farce, and seats were being sold to the highest bidder.
- NEET SCHEME : Challenged in courts, after an initial setback, the NEET scheme has been upheld.
NEET HAS WORSENED EQUITY
- IMPARTIALITY : NEET may have improved the quality of candidates admitted to private institutions to some extent, but it seems to have further worsened equity.
- SCHEME OF ADMISSION : The number of students from government schools who are able to get admission to a medical college is very low.
- EQUITABLE ALLOTMENT : Allowing government medical colleges to admit students based on marks in Standard XII and NEET scores for admission to private colleges will be more equitable right now.
- QUALITY AND GRADING : The basic cause of inequity in admission to higher educational institutions is the absence of a high quality school system accessible to all.
- PRIVATE PLAYERS : In medical education, the situation is made far worse by the rent seeking and profiteering of the majority of private medical colleges.
IT’S ABOUT POLITICAL RESOLVE
- ACHIEVING EQUILIBRIUM : On the one hand, the state believes that quality and equity are the cornerstones of good education.
- POLICY TWEAKS : On the other, the economic policies consider education a consumer good which can be sold to the highest bidder.
Only a resolute state, determined to ensure that economic policy facilitates quality and equity in education, can do it.
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Medical Education in India | UPSC