A new Supreme Court order could change the nature of medical education in India. In a decision on Monday it allowed the Medical Council of India to set up a single exam for admission into all MD and MBBS courses. The order covers both government-run and private medical colleges. That amounts to a total of some 30,000 MBBS seats and 11,000 ones for MD students. At present students looking to become doctors sometimes take more than a dozen entrance exams for different institutes.
There’s no end to the divisions between the Congress and the DMK. On Monday the two sides tried, but failed to reach a solution to their dispute over seat sharing. Just two days earlier, the DMK had withdrawn its unconditional support to the Congress-led government. Tamil Nadu goes to the polls on13 April. A total of 234 seats are up for grabs. The Congress wants to compete in 90 of those seats, but the DMK appears unwilling to let go of more than 60.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have diffused another political controversy. Earlier in the day he told the Lok Sabha he made what he called an “error of judgment” by appointing P.J. Thomas India’s chief vigilance commissioner. Thomas had resigned last week after the Supreme Court ruled his appointment was not legal.
Indian stocks started the week with losses possibly reacting to both a spike in oil prices and the UPA’s political troubles. The Sensex plunged 264 points to close at 18,223. And the Nifty fell 76 to 5,463.