TU officials accused over NMC affiliation dismiss panel report


The Kathmandu Post

KATHMANDU, Tribhuvan University (TU) officials have expressed strong reservations over the Gauri Bahadur Karki-led probe committee report that implicates 43 individuals, including top TU officials, for providing affiliation to the National Medical College (NMC). They claim the report has violated legal in accusing persons for their involvement.

Action against the 43 accused was one of Dr Govinda KC’s demands accepted by the government on July 25 which convinced the social activist to break his fast after 27 days. The government has assured that it will take action  against them within two months.

The three-member committee, which also included late Dr Upendra Devkota and then joint-secretary at the Ministry of Education Surya Prasad Gautam, had named 43 individuals for their alleged role in recommending the controversial NMC, situated in Ghattekulo, Kathmandu, to run an MBBS programme despite the college lacking the minimum required infrastructure.

An inspection team headed by Dr Kabir Nath Yogi had approved the NMC for running the MBBS programme. The TU subsequently granted affiliation to the college on July 27, 2017.

However, the decision was later scrapped on September 6, 2017 and a committee was formed to investigate the matter regarding the recommendation in the first place. Among the 43 accused by the probe team, major names include incumbent TU Vice Chancellor Tirtha Raj Khaniya, Registrar Dilli Ram Upreti and Rector Sudha Tripathi, charging them for their dubious roles in allowing affiliation to the NMC.

Questioning the legitimacy of the probe team report, the Office of the TU Registrar issued a statement on Saturday saying that the Karki panel’s step was against the law as the team lacked a majority vote that would allow him to submit the report.

“There was one ‘Note of Dissent’ by team member Gautam, while late Dr Devkota was not present in the making of the report and also during its submission. The report has no majority but the conclusion of a single person” said TU Registrar Dilli Ram Uprety.

But Karki said Dr Devkota, who was undergoing treatment in London, had responded by an email to his query whether to accept or deny the report’s submission.

“Dr Devkota had sent me an email from London, giving his consent to submission of the report to the government, which meant I had the required majority in favour of the report,” said Karki.

But Uprety argued that the email was not a proper official letter for a government report. “One note of dissent was already there and another email response, which can be sent by anyone, cannot be a valid justification,” the TU registrar retorted.