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College of Physicians & Surgeons of Mumbai (CPS) derecognized

Debate continues on the culpability but the sufferers are undoubtedly the “ALUMNI”

The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Mumbai, also known as CPS Mumbai or CPS Bombay was established in 1912 under the visionary leadership of Surgeon Gen. Sir H. W. Stevenson. CPS is an autonomous body dedicated to imparting postgraduate medical education and offers 10 Fellowship programs and 17 Diploma programs. The CPS courses (around 1600 seats) provide a third route to medical students for post-graduate studies. CPS alumni, such as Dr M. J. Jassawalla, Dr C. B. Purandare, Dr Rumi Jehangir, and Dr Sanjay Oak, have made significant contributions to the medical field, further bolstering CPS’s reputation as a leading institution.

NMC in may notified rules to create a national register of doctors but has kept it open only to those doctors whose qualifications are recognised pan-India. Unfortunately the CPS is recognized by only nine states in India and hence the notification has put a question mark on the future of CPS specialist doctors that are more than 20,000 in number. Though, it is a fact that the overall working of CPS was never transparent and plagued with controversies and corruption charges which led to red flag being raised by the State Medical Council on the quality of the courses provided by CPS. To make matter worse the Mohfw has been changing its stance on CPS regularly. In 2017, the Union Health Ministry came out with a gazette notification recognising 39 courses offered by the CPS. But a year later, the ministry published another notification de-recognising 36 of the 39 courses without offering any explanation. The NMC currently approves only three CPS diplomas but has announced the withdrawal of these three diplomas from the next academic year.

Considering the NMC stance of de-recognising the CPS course it will effectively mean that there will be a shortfall of 1600 postgraduates per annum in India. The wrong doing, if any, has been done by the management of the CPS and the actual sufferers will be the students and alumni of CPS. But the extreme step taken by the NMC raises a bigger question. What prevented the NMC from rectifying the issues in the CPS. Isn’t the NMC responsible for appropriate functioning of all the medical institutes in India. The Mohfw and NMC should rather than derecognizing courses of the 111-year-old institute should take steps and streamline the working and functioning of the CPS so as to prevent it from becoming a lost glory in future. 

Dr. Bhushan Kedari