New Delhi: The arrest of Ketan Desai, the man being touted as the don of the Medical Council of India, has thrown open a Pandora's box.
CNN-IBN has access to documents that show rules were changed and tweaked to allow students who studied humanities and even home science to practice medicine in the country.
In has been revealed that Dr Ramanender Singh, Registration Number 17878, registered as doctor in August 2003 had passed 10+2 from an unrecognised board. One Dr Shobit Singh became a doctor after higher secondary education in agriculture.
So who cares about the rule that only students who opt for the science stream from a recognised university are eligible to join a medical course.
Dr Thressia Kokattu was registered as a doctor by the MCI but she did not study science subjects like Biology in her 10+2. Dr Marena Francis did home science in class 12. Despite the Supreme Court order in April 2003, the MCI went ahead and registered all of them as doctors.
CNN-IBN has documents to show how medical registration was also granted to candidates who had failed in their class XII theory papers. Exceptional favours and exemptions were also granted by Desai and company.
According to the Graduate Medical Education Regulations a first year MBBS student has four chances to clear all subjects.
In March 2000 the Executive Committee of the MCI flouted this rule. Documents available with CNN-IBN show that Students of Government Medical College Nagpur; NKP Salve Institute of Medical Science, Nagpur; Jawaharlal Medical College, Meghe and Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University were given permission to take a sixth and even a seventh attempt.
Two years later the Executive Committee authorised the MCI President to deal with such requests. In 2003 the regulations were amended and the clause restricting the number of attempts to four was removed.
The Health Minister says the government needs more powers to ensure that regulators do not work like corrupt dictators.
From recognising and derecognising medical colleges to allowing home science and arts students to become doctors, Desai and friends used quick fix solutions for everything.
In Parliament allegations of political patronage came thick and fast. Now it is for the government to figure out how to clean the MCI and save medical education.