The Supreme Court has reached out to entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani to recommend a technological solution to provide a fool-proof picture of what actually transpires during the Medical Council of India’s inspections of various private medical colleges across the country.

The court is inundated with disputes either by the MCI or by private medical college managements regarding the inspections of these institutions for granting them licence to admit students, etc. The prolonged disputes delay the admission of students.

“There are incessant disputes which reach this court about what actually transpired at inspections of various private medical colleges by the Medical Council of India. The parties contest virtually every fact that is recorded in an inspection,” a Supreme Court Bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao observed in its three-page order pronounced in open court on September 19.

The suggestion was made by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is an amicus curiae in a petition filed by private medical colleges, including the Al Azhar Medical College and Super Speciality Hospital, located in Kerala. These institutions had been denied permission by the Centre to admit students to MBBS Course for the academic year 2017-18.

The MCI, through advocate Gaurav Sharma, also supported Mr. Sibal.

“We request Mr. Nandan Nilekani to go into this problem and give concrete suggestions to this court at the earliest… the respondent-MCI shall convene a meeting with Mr. Nilekani, Mr. Sibal, learned amicus curiae and any other learned counsel who may be interested in the matter, either at New Delhi or any other place in India within a period of 15 days from today. Mr. Sibal shall chair the meeting,” the Supreme Couret said in its order.

Faced with “incessant disputes” over inspection of private medical colleges by the Medical Council of India (MCI), the Supreme Court has asked former UIDAI Chairman and technocrat Nandan Nilekani to examine if a computer network-based technological solution was possible for such inspections.

“We…request Nandan Nilekani to go into this problem and give concrete suggestions to this court at the earliest… Nilekani is at liberty to take technical assistance from various IT companies viz.,Wipro, Infosis, Accenture, etc., for making suggestions to this court,” said a Bench headed by Justice SA Bobde on Wednesday.

It posted the matter for hearing after six weeks.

The Bench — which also included Justice LN Rao — passed the order after amicus curiae senior advocate Kapil Sibal suggested that a computer network-based technological solution, which may include artificial intelligence, would be needed to solve the problem.As Sibal said an expert like Nilekani — a co-founder of IT major Infosys — could be appointed to look into this aspect, MCI counsel Gaurav Sharma supported his suggestion.

The order came during hearing of a petition filed by Azhar Medical College and Super Speciality Hospital of Kerala questioning the MCI’s inspection report.

Inspection of private medical colleges has been a controversial issue and invariably the MCI team’s inspection reports have been challenged in high courts and the Supreme Court.

“There are incessant disputes that reach this court about what actually transpired at inspections of various private medical colleges by the Medical Council of India (MCI). The parties contest virtually every fact that is recorded in an inspection,” noted the Bench.

The court directed the MCI to convene a meeting with Nilekani, Sibal and other advocates who might be interested in the matter either in Delhi or any other place in India within 15 days. “Sibal shall chair the meeting,” the court said.

It also asked Sibal and Sharma to prepare a written note highlighting the issues that need to be taken up by Nilekani.

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