Around two lakh students in nursing colleges in Karnataka are in for trouble as the Indian Nursing Council (INC) recently removed Karnataka nursing colleges from its list of recognised institutes.
Why are Karnataka nursing colleges left out from INC's recognition?
A Karnataka government order issued in May that said government and private nursing colleges do not require the INC's approval. This was the triggering point for the order.
What is the problem if INC does not recognise Karnataka nursing colleges?
If INC does not recognise Karnataka nursing colleges, nursing graduates from Karnataka won't be able to secure jobs outside the state and abroad.
What was the previous procedure?
Earlier, setting up of a nursing institute in the state required approvals from INC, the state government, the Karnataka State Nursing Council (KSNC) and Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science (RGUHS). Also, it had to apply for renewal every year.Now, approvals from the state, KSNC and RGUHS are enough.
What do experts have to say on the order?
Girijamba Devi, secretary, Trained Nurses' Association of India (TNAI), Karnataka branch, said: "With this order, the government has restricted students' opportunities. Besides, Karnataka, home to most nursing institutes in the country, is losing students because of the uncertainty."
"In February, the nursing council sent a letter to the government, stating if the government chooses not to make INC's approval mandatory, then it won't recognise the state institutes. We cannot expect all our students to work only in Karnataka," said Girijamba.
Another aspect of this problem is that students will now have difficulty in securing loans from banks that do not grant it for colleges that are not recognised by INC.
Government order or INC's recognition for Karnataka nursing colleges
"The government order was issued based on the Karnataka Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors' Act.When it comes to running a nursing institute in the state, the INC's approval isn't required as the council focuses only on the quality of education. Several cases have been filed in the high court and we are awaiting its order," a medical education officer told an English daily.