Regularisation of External MD NCH issues show cause to KUHS

Regularisation of External MD NCH issues show cause to KUHS

Dr Mansoor Ali

In a shocking and retrogressive move, National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) is intimidating the Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) by issuing a Show Cause notice to approve External MD of Homoeopathy.

As a regulatory decision, KUHS is not ready to accept any correspondence course from any discipline including Allopathy, Ayurveda, Nursing or Ayush systems. External MD is an off-campus course of 2 years duration, regular MD is a 3-year institutional course. Equalization of external MD course with regular MD was a retrograde step in the history of homoeopathic medical education.

President of NCH Homoeopathy education board issued a Show cause notice to KUHS on 30th Sept 2021 stating that NCH will take disciplinary action against the university including the withdrawal of recognition of the existing courses and awarded degree.

“Postal” Graduates with backdoor entry to NCH
All the officials of NCH – The Chairman, President of The Medical Assessment and Rating Board, President of the Board of Ethics and Registration are External MD holders!!

One of the above President with external PG was thrown out from the principal post from a recently started Homoeopathy college in Kerala – now he is playing dirty revengeful politics by degrading the standards.

Why no interview for NCH?
As per notification for NCH office bearers dt 16.1.2021 Screening and shortlisting of applications will be done by the Search and Selection Committee or a suitable sub-committee appointed by it. Candidates shortlisted for the interview will have to produce all relevant original documents in proof of details furnished in their application at the time of the interview.

Few eligible and competent persons applied. So these people will not get positions. So to bypass the eligible candidates – No interview was conducted, but nominated through political influences.

These ‘postal’ graduates or Homoeopathic bureaucrats with backdoor entry now controlling the graduate and postgraduate education in Homoeopathy. This may be the first ‘historic’ decision immediately after taking the charge as office bearers!! Old CCH wine in a new bottle. Never expect standardisation of Homoeopathic education from these tainted officials. 

Kerala is the only state in India where External MD is not considered as par with Regular MD. This is the third notice to KUHS from the apex body. Earlier CCH issued a show-cause notice to the University of Calicut and University of Kerala. All these universities and Kerala HC (Single and Division bench) rejected the plea.

KUHS rejected the plea to equalise Regular MD with External MD in Homoeopathy in 2016 itself. The committee appointed by the University examined the facts and CCH regulations and submitted a detailed comparative report on both courses. The committee stated that there are major differences between these two courses and Homeo Regular and External MD courses cannot be equated.

Govt. of Kerala had appointed a commission in 2003 chaired by Honorable Pro Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University Prof.S.Kevin on the matter of External PG course in homoeopathy. That commission also rejected the proposal by CCH

The academic council of the University of Calicut categorically rejected the External MD in 2012 itself.

In these 9 page notice, NCH repeatedly talks about regulation 11 of pg regulation 1989/2001 prescribing minimum qualification etc. to teaching posts – but it actually specifies only additional teachers required, not qualification. Commission has no proper explanation but repeatedly says one thing only – non-compliance of PG regulation 1989!

History
The postgraduate course of three years duration in homoeopathy in India started in the year 1989. The 2 year external MD courses also started in the same year under the pretext that there were not adequate qualified hands to teach regular postgraduate students. In the beginning, the external PG course was restricted for the next 8 years starting from 1989. But somehow, it got extended to 8 more years in the year 2000 and again to one more year in 2008. This course was open to all, not limited to teachers!

MD without a Single Leave from Clinic/Institution?
There were many instances of educated patients wondering and questioning their physician on getting his ‘MD” qualification in one fine morning without taking leave from the clinic even for one week?!

Why Kerala Govt and KUHS not equalising External MD
The reason for our concern lies in the very nature of external PG degree, which are as follows:

  • The external PG degree is an off-campus course that does not require formal institutionalized training. Candidates of external PG are not required to attend outpatient and inpatient duties, conduct seminars, discussions and classes by qualified teachers etc as is the case of regular PG students.   The relevance of such a course in the field of medical education is highly suspect, to say the least. 
  • External PG is being offered in clinical (Homoeopathic) subjects without supervised clinical training or patient exposure!
  • The basic eligibility criteria for an external PG degree is a diploma in homoeopathy
  • The Honorable Supreme Court judgment on February 25, 2009, (Civil Appeal No. 4173 of 2008, Annamalai University versus Secretary to Govt., Information & Tourism Dept & Others) has observed that a Masters degree awarded to a candidate who has not undergone a degree (Bachelor’s) course cannot be valid.
  • Government Kerala had appointed a commission in 2001 chaired by Honorable Pro Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University, Prof. S. Kevin, on the matter of External PG course in homoeopathy.   This commission submitted the report in 2002 which clearly stated that “the University of Kerala need not sanction the External PG Degree in Homoeopathy as it cannot maintain the academic standards expected of a PG degree in medicine”.
  • The Health & Family welfare department, Govt. of Kerala has also made it amply clear in 2010 that the two courses cannot be considered equal as external PG is a course of “distance education” (Order No.20535/J2/2010/H&FWD dt 08/12/2010)
  • As per the Homoeopathy Medical Colleges Teaching Service Special rule 2001 and 2019 by Govt of Kerala for recruitment and promotion in various departments – PG means postgraduate course with three-year regular attendance. This special rule controls the appointments and promotions in Homoeopathy Medical Colleges of Kerala. 
  • Kerala Govt. now gives ample opportunity to all homeopathy teachers of Government and Aided sector to take Regular MD in Homoeopathy irrespective of the department they belong, on the seniority basis – by giving full-service benefits. So enough regular MD teachers are available as Examiners/Guides
  • Honourable High Court of Kerala in a judgement in 2014 categorically stated that the two courses cannot be equated. 
  • The division bench of  Kerala HC in a judgement in 2021  stated that the two courses cannot be equated.

A concise comparison between the two courses:

Item

Regular MD

External MD

Format

Regular Institutionalized Training

Distance Education

Duration

3 years

2 years

Minimum Eligibility

BHMS Degree

Diploma in Homoeopathy

Training

Clinical exposure through OPD & IPD postings

No Clinical Exposure

Training

Regular & systemic training

including

Seminars, clinical discussion, journal clubs etc

Nothing

House Job

One year

No house job

Attendance required

3 year regular, as per university norms

No attendance.

Only for exam

Examinations

Part. I &II

1 exam

University approval

Approved by all universities in Kerala

Not approved by any universities in Kerala.

Kerala Homeopathic Service rule 2001,2019

Approved

Not included due to lack of 3 year regular attendance

Govt. of Kerala Approval

Yes

No

Adverse Impact of equalization
It is a matter of much concern to us that if an off-campus course of 2 years duration is equalized with a regular residential institutionalized course of 3 years duration, it would have an adverse impact on the standard of Homoeopathic medical education in the state.

Equalization of external MD course with regular MD will be a retrograde step in the progress of homoeopathic medical education.   The morale of regular PG students will be dented on the realization that their hard-earned postgraduate degree is seen as equal to what is only a little more than a correspondence course!

Dear NCH,
Please put a full stop to this hooliganism. Work for the uplifting the Homoeopathy education in our country. 

Download NCH show-cause notice to KUHS Sept 2021

Kerala Govt enquiry report on External MD in Homoeopathy
http://www.homeobook.com/kerala-govt-enquiry-report-on-external-md-in-homoeopathy 

External MD in Homeopathy could not be considered for Job
http://www.homeobook.com/external-md-in-homeopathy-could-not-be-considered-for-job

University of Calicut quashed External MD in Homoeopathy

Kerala HC judgment on External MD   2014

Kerala HC division bench judgement on External MD 2021

Report by the Controlling Officer of Homoeopathy on Equalisation of External MD

Kerala  Govt. Order on status of External MD in Kerala 2014

External MD RTI reply to IHMA by Govt of Kerala 2017

IHMA letter to Prime Minister on External MD in Homoeopathy 

KUHS Reply to CCH in 2016

4 Comments

  1. MD external is need unless and until the quality of regular MD is improved.Today many colleges don’t have good quality clinical exposure.

  2. Utter nonsense
    Take this to national media
    They deserve to be stripped naked if they pursue on this.
    Across the country at least KUHS has that balls of steel to call a spade a spade!
    Kerala isn’t just a state of the indian union, we have our own stakes in waking up against demeaning academic reforms of utopian origin.

    • Thank you Dr Mansoor Ali for bringing this incidence to the Nation’s notice.
      But it is not clear why on earth KUHS supports and names a correspondence course as “MD” course! It could have been any PG Diploma course. By naming a course as external MD itself demeans the status of regular MD course.

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