New Delhi: A proposal to allow IITs to start courses in medicine will be delayed with the Law Ministry sending back a Cabinet note of the HRD Ministry with a recommendation that further discussions were needed on the issue.
The Law Ministry has suggested that the HRD Ministry should discuss the matter further with the Health Ministry, which had earlier disfavoured such a proposal.
The Law Ministry has sent back a Cabinet note of the Ministry of HRD (MHRD) regarding amendment to the IIT Act for incorporating `Medicine` in it to enable the elite institutes offer courses in that discipline.
"Law Ministry has said further discussion should be conducted with the Health Ministry on the issue of IITs` plan to offer courses in medicine," official sources told a news agency.
The MHRD proposes to amend the IIT Act, 1961, to incorporate `Medicine` in it and include names of eight new IITs under the Act to give them status of statutory bodies.
The amendment of the IIT Act aims to enable the institutes to offer programmes bringing the diverse disciplines of medicine and engineering together.
The IIT Kharagpur has already proposed to start a medical institution in collaboration with Indian Railways and introduce programmes like MBBS, MD, MS and Ph.D.
The MHRD had earlier sought the views of the Health Ministry which opined that establishing medical colleges by the IITs for starting conventional medicine courses would not be advisable.
However, the MHRD rejected the suggestions of Health Ministry and wanted to go ahead with an amendment in IIT Act for the purpose. It moved a Cabinet note for the purpose.
It said the modern trends in medical education and research in technology and medicine in all developed and most of the developing countries are seen going hand-in-hand.
At a meeting of experts organised by the Health Ministry in February this year, it was observed that IITs should start courses on health information technology, biomedical
engineering and e-health rather than running a hospital or commencing MBBS courses.