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MGR Medical University to launch Telemedicine Programme soon : VC

The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University is planning to launch a telemedicine programme for its post – doctoral fellowship courses to bring in uniformity in the process.

The varsity would soon enlist faculties for this purpose so that all centres could receive uniform training, according to its Vice – Chancellor D. Shantharam.


The Vice – Chancellor told Press Peoples Coimbatore on Friday that the post – doctoral fellowship courses were being offered on various areas with the objective of upgrading speciality hospitals into institutes of learning.

“This year, we have added courses such as occupational medicine, tricology and aesthetic dermatology in these post – doctoral fellowship courses.

The varsity was also providing short – term funding for research activities.”

Further, Dr. Shantharam informed that the MGR Medical University was also actively contemplating the formation of an ‘e – consortium of libraries’ with all its affiliated colleges taking part so that the students could learn from their respective institutions.

Already, the university had come out with an ‘e – magazine’ to encourage the practice of publishing papers among medical students as they must compulsorily publish at least two papers during their course period.

Package :

The post – doctoral fellowship was designed as a comprehensive package wherein the candidate gets exposure to the various disciplines with emphasis on augmenting their clinical skills in certain focus areas.

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New norms will not Apply to First Year MBBS Students : University

The controversy over the mark system for first year MBBS students who wrote the examinations in August this year, seems to have been resolved with the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University submitting before the Madras High Court on 26th November, 2012 that it would not apply the new regulations for these students.

The university made the submission when the question whether the new guidelines of the university in respect of clinical and viva – voce could be sustained in law came up for further hearing before the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam.

In the writ petitions, students said the new guidelines were inconsistent with the MCI guidelines. They could not be sustained in law. The university submitted that the regulation, passed at the 43rd Standing Academic Meeting on 19th December, 2011, had a nexus with the object sought to be achieved, namely, furtherance of academic excellence.

During the hearing on 26th November, 2012, the Bench asked the university counsel, Narmadha Sampath, as to whether the new mark system could be implemented from next year.

Mrs. Sampath produced a communication from the university in which it had been stated that the university would not apply the regulations for those first year students who wrote the examinations in August 2012. The university would apply only the MCI regulations for this batch of students. Counsel filed the letter before the court.

Meanwhile, university Vice – Chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said the re – processing was undertaken, as per the undertaking given to the court, and the new results were published on the website on Monday evening. Consequently, the pass percentage had gone up from 67 per cent to 85 per cent. He said the Medical Council of India had sent another communication, this time with precise instructions to raise the standards of medical education. From the next year, the revised and new increased standards of evaluation would be brought into force and instructions about them published in the prospectus itself, he added.

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Announcement of First – Year MBBS Results put off

Tamil Nadu MGR Medical University has postponed the announcement of the results of the first – year MBBS examinations with its website urging the deans of all medical colleges to allow the students to move to second year.

The decision involves about 2,500 students who took the first – year MBBS examination in government and private medical colleges. The website announces : “Due to unforeseen circumstances the university is not in a position to publish the results of first MBBS August 2012 examination. The same will be published within… two – three weeks’ time.”

Explaining the circumstances, Vice – Chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said the university has filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court. “We filed the writ petition urging the Medical Council of India to give us written directions to raise the standards of the syllabus, assessment and evaluation.”

Earlier, based on the MCI’s affidavit in court stating that the varsity could go ahead with its plan to improve the quality of medical education in the State, the university had made alterations.

The new rules state that a student must have scored 50 per cent in all the individual papers he or she writes in order to be declared as having passed. The required minimum attendance percentage was also upped from MCI’s 75 to 90.

“Though we went ahead based on MCI’s position in the affidavit, we are yet to receive a written communication from them. That would put us on sure ground legally,” Dr. Mayil Vahanan said. The dental and pharmacy councils have given the go – ahead for their streams, according to him. So until the orders come, announcement of results will have to be postponed. Results are usually out in the first week of October.

What has caused confusion among first – year students is the subsequent announcement about going ahead to the second year. A student from a city – based government medical college says : “Not only confusion, but we are all facing mental agony too. In the BDS first-year results that were released last week, only 45 per cent of the students passed. Even as we are seriously worried about our fate, this comes.”

Under the ‘break system’, students who have failed will have to rejoin the first year as a separate batch six months after the commencement of the first-year course.

“All students who have failed, when the announcement comes, will have to go back to the first year. There is no provision for them to continue,” the Vice Chancellor clarifies.

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Medical University revokes New Rule on Minimum Pass Percentage

Tamil Nadu MGR Medical University on November 8, 2011 revoked its new rule on a minimum pass per cent of 50 in each component.

The General Council decided to go back on its decision to up the pass marks for MBBS students, and revert to the old system.

It had been decided that every MBBS student would have to score 50 per cent in each component of a subject to qualify for a pass. Each subject has five components, Paper 1, Paper 2, Viva, Internal Assessment and Practicals, and as per the new rule, the student had to score 50 per cent in each of these.

The rule was implemented for the first time for students who wrote the exam in August, revoking the earlier practice of demanding a minimum of 50 per cent marks aggregate in the theory papers and orals, and 50 per cent in practicals to pass.

Students claimed that it was in violation of the Medical Council of India’s regulations being followed in every other State and private medical universities in Tamil Nadu. They also said that the move led to more failures. Meritorious students who had managed to enter the medical stream were being overburdened.

They made a representation to the government to revoke the new rule and restore uniform evaluation standards in the TN state. It was in this context that the General Council met to resolve the issue. It is learnt that the Council was advised by the government to consider the petition of the students favourably.

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MGR University to consider Proposal for Conditional Double Valuation for MBBS

The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University will consider a proposal to introduce double valuation for MBBS candidates who have failed in their exams.

If the proposal is cleared, the paper in which the candidate has failed to clear will be independently evaluated by two examiners.

The Dr. MGR Varsity will take the highest mark into account. If the difference between the two evaluations is 30 per cent or over, then the paper would be referred to a third examiner.

This dual valuation pattern is being followed as a norm for Post Graduate examinations in medicine. “In all fairness, every paper should be valued twice, but there are far too many candidates in MBBS for us to make it the norm. So we thought we would consider introducing it only for those who have failed,” MGR University Vice – Chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said.

Further, he clarified that the varsity’s decision to introduce a minimum 50 per cent pass mark in each component ( two written papers, one practical, one VIVA, and one internal assessment ) of a subject would stay.

“The aim is to improve the standard of medical education, and the quality of medical graduates over a long period. Unless we provide this bitter pill, nothing will be done,” Dr. Natarajan explained.

However, he added that Dr. MGR university has written to the Medical Council of India to see if the ‘Break’ system, whereby a student who has failed in a paper cannot continue with his own batch of students, could be suspended.

The proposal suggests that students who have failed continue to move onto the next year and be able to repeat the exam within six months. This is the system being followed at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, he informed.

The 22 nd convocation of the Dr. MGR Medical university will be held on November 3, 2011, and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is expected to deliver the MGR University convocation address. A total of 6941 candidates will be awarded degrees and diplomas under the categories: Medical, Dental, Indian Medicine, and Allied Health Sciences courses.

Honorary Doctorates will be conferred on four eminent specialists: Krishnamoorthy Srinivas, senior consultant neurologist; C.V.Bhirmanandham, Consultant Cardiologist and former Vice – Chancellor of the varsity, Prasanna Kumar Reddy, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Apollo Hospitals, and M.P.Naresh Kumar, Consultant Cardio Thoracic Surgeon, Harvey Healthcare.

In addition, lifetime achievement awards will be conferred on the following teachers and leaders in medicine, V.Shanta, Chairperson, Cancer Institute; D. Raja, former VC of the varsity; Prema Krishnaswami, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist; K. Sridhar, Planning Commission member; C.S.Vijay Shankar, Cardio Thoracic Surgeon; R.Prabhakar, Former Director, Tuberculosis Research Centre; K.Ravindranath, Chairman, Global Hospitals; R.Raveendran, Managing Director, Udhi Eye Hospital; S.P.Thyagarajan, Pro – Chancellor, Sri Ramachandra University; and Jayam Kannan, Gynaecologist and Fertility expert.

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No Proposal to Remove Surgery From Syllabus

There was no proposal to remove surgery from the list of subjects being taught under courses in the Indian Systems of Medicine, Health Minister V.S. Vijay clarified on Monday.

Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat, Mr. Vijay said surgery would continue to be part of the course, as always.

CCIM to be consulted

In response to a question about the need to refer to the Central Council of Indian Medicine ( CCIM ) any changes in the syllabus pertaining to Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani, he added that the CCIM would definitely be consulted.

Earlier CCIM had sent a notice to the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University asking it to withdraw changes proposed to the existing syllabus of the Indian systems of medicine.

This included, it claimed, removing substantial portions of modern medicine, and surgery from the syllabus.


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