Dr.Bipin Batra, Executive Director of NBE discussion in the General Body meeting ANBAI September 22nd 2012, Amrita institute of Medical sciences, Kochi.


1. Dr. Rajsekharan, Secretary ANBAI , thanked Dr. Batra for his Presidential address and appreciated his efforts and reforms to improve the quality of NBE. He also appreciated the work put in by all the NBE accredited hospitals towards service, training and research. He added that the group of hospitals is heterogeneous and therefore stressed the need for all hospitals to come together join the ANBAI association to have a single uniform voice to NBE. He then started the discussion with Dr. Batra to address the various issues and concerns that Member institutions have with NBE.

a.

Centralised Selection Process : Dr. Rajsekharan mentioned that the centralized selection process has led to a few problems; namely language difficulty, good at MCQs but not good clinically, financial burden of travel to distant places. He requested Dr. Batra to consider a regional selection process as it would benefit both the candidates and the institutions.
Dr. Batra: Centralized selection process has led to the meritorious candidates opting for hospitals which are renowned for their good DNB track record. Doing regional selections is not possible for now.

b.

Vacant seats : Dr. Murthy (Hyderabad) raised the issue of seats lying vacant after the third round of counseling and therefore some of the seats lapsed and the institutions were unable to get a candidate for that session. He requested Dr.BB to permit the institute to select a candidate who has cleared the CET exam to fill the vacancy.
Dr. Batra – After the third round of DNB counseling, only 5% of the seats remained vacant( compared to MCI – 10-12%). Any seats remaining vacant will be carried over to the next admission cycle. Now the centralized counseling is once in 6 months so he said that the institution will not have to wait for long.

c.

Drop outs : Dr. Shantaram Shetty, requested the NBE to consider a penalty for the candidates dropping out for various reasons which result in a seat lapse.
Dr. Batra – said that the process is already underway and will be applicable for the next academic session. The options of taking a Bank guarantee to act as a deterrent is being considered.
He also requested the institutes to intimate the board immediately if the candidate has remained absent without permission for 10 continuous days. Such a candidate will be considered as a dropout and this absentee clause will be mentioned in their seat allotment letter. Institutes however cannot enforce certificates retention as this is not legally acceptable.

d.

Delay in the candidates joining the institute after CET : Dr. SS raised this issue and mentioned that after writing the entrance exam in June, the counseling only occurs in September and the candidates end up joining the institute in October. This delay results in the candidate losing precious months of his training career.
Dr. Batra – the introduction of CBT will now resolve this issue and the delays that were seen the last year was because of the system being fine tuned and all the teething problems were being sorted. He was confident that in January 2013 session, CBT system will stabilize.

e.

Delay in announcing the theory results : Dr. SS brought this up and the candidates lose anywhere between 6-8 months of their career waiting for announcement of their Theory and practical results.
Dr. Batra mentioned that approximately 80% of the results are announced by the end of 3rd week of August. Only subjects which have a large number of candidates because of backlog, take time and the results were announced only by 3rd week of September. He mentioned that the administrative time for result processing only takes 4-5 days.

f.

NBE leave rules : Dr. Jagadish ( mysore) brought up this issue regarding leave rules and the eligibility of the candidates to write the exam in case they exceed their leave requirements.
Dr. Batra mentioned that a compendium of leave regulations has been released on the NBE website which clearly mentions all the leave rules. He request all the institutes to download the same to get clarity. If candidates have taken leaves in excess but they finish their course within 45 days after the date of completion, then they will be considered eligible to write the exam. Otherwise they will not be eligible to write the exam. Special circumstances where permission will be granted ( beyond 45 days) to write the exam has also been mentioned in the compendium. Dr.BB stated that the NBE does not interfere in workplace related issues and requested the institutes to follow principles of natural justice before taking any action against a candidate.

g.

Accreditation fees : Dr. Rajsekharan brought up this issue about the hike in accreditation fees for institutes. Renewal of accreditation costs about Rs.2,00,000/ discipline. He requested NBE to consider reducing this fee.
Dr. Batra mentioned that the accreditation fees charged by the NBE is on par or even less than the fees charged by other accreditation bodies. The accreditation system takes a lot of investment of man power and processes. Therefore there is a nonrefundable component to the accreditation fees. Also the fees being kept high discourages a lot of nonserious applicants from applying for accreditations.

h.

Fees for candidates : Dr. Batra mentioned that the final amount has not been finalized yet but for the January 2013 session, NBE has considered increasing the fees of the candidates. Dr. Alexander Thomas requested all the institutes to come up with their own costing for their hospitals (excluding the stipend) and send it to the NBE to assist with decision making.
Dr. Batra mentioned that though there is a regional disparity between stipends, a graded fee structure across the country is not a worthy idea.

i.

Tuition fee being non-refundable in case candidate leaves : Dr.Chandrashekhar requested NBE to print this in the seat allotment letter as the candidates are requesting refund of their tuition fee when leaving.
Dr. Batra mentioned that he would seek legal opinion before doing this as this would mean that they have to override a few consumer court rulings. Till such time, NBE cannot print this in the seat allotment letter.

j.

Minimum no of beds for accreditation : Some of the institutes complained that their accreditation applications ( fresh/renewal) were being rejected on the grounds that the hospital did not have more than 200 beds.
Dr. Batra mentioned that NBE has done a detailed analysis of the pass percentages of various institutes and they found that institutes with less than 200 beds have a pass % of only 20%, while institutes between 200-500 and more than 500 beds have better pass percentages. Also NBE found that institutes with more than 200 beds, are more likely to have atleast two full time consultants driving the setup which translates to better training and results.
Dr. Batra assured everyone that they look at all facets ( Not only bed strength) in accreditation matters. In special situations, single specialty hospitals which meet all the NBE requirements for accreditation are also granted accreditation irrespective of their bed strength.
Dr. Batra mentioned that DNB equivalence with MCI necessitates that the hospital has a minimum of 500 beds and atleast one MCI recognized teaching faculty.
Dr. Alexander Thomas reiterated the efforts put in ANBAI and NBE to get DNB equivalence with MCI and he specially appreciated the efforts put in by Dr. Srinath Reddy and Dr. Batra to this regard.

k.

Clubbing of hospital training : Dr. Batra mentioned that clubbing of training in multiple hospitals is considered acceptable for accreditation. Upto 30 days exposure in the other hospitals is permissible but beyond that, it is not acceptable.

l.

Senior resident requirement for accreditation : Dr. – requested NBE to relook at the senior resident requirement for accreditation as some institutes who have a well staffed department with many senior consultants have found their accreditation renewal rejected for lack of senior residents. Dr. Batra mentioned that senior residents are essential for a program as they are expected to help reduce the burden of work done by the DNB residents. Senior Consultants cannot be shown as Senior residents as the whole purpose will be defeated. Dr.BB encouraged the institutes to take their previously trained candidates as Senior residents to solve this problem. He mentioned that post diploma candidates and candidates who have completed 3 yrs training ( but not cleared their theory exams) could also be considered as senior residents.

m.

Age restriction for Senior faculty : Dr. Batra mentioned that age restriction is 70 years for a consultant to be shown as teaching faculty . But there is no age restriction for becoming a Co-guide or adjunct faculty.

n.

Thesis submission before writing theory exam : Dr. Raksekaran requested the NBE to make it compulsory for candidates to submit their thesis 6 months before the theory exam and not to issue the hall tickets for failure to do so. Dr. Batra said that this has already been implemented and will be effective from the next academic session.

o.

Dr. Rajsekaran concluded this round of discussion by thanking DR.BB for all his inputs and valuable suggestions to the ANBAI members and lauded the efforts put in by NBE to improve the standards of postgraduate medical training in the country.

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