Medical College Inspections: SC Appoints Nandan Nilekani To Examine Possibility of Computer Network Based/ AI Solution [Read Order]

Medical College Inspections: SC Appoints Nandan Nilekani To Examine Possibility of Computer Network Based/ AI Solution [Read Order]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed Mr. Nandan Nilekani for examining the possibility of a computer network based or artificial intelligence based technological solution for inspection of medical colleges by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The petitions before the court had initially been filed by private medical colleges which had been denied permission to admit students in M.B.B.S Course for the academic year 2017-18 by the Centre. The petitioners had mainly contended that they had been denied permission in spite of the Centre having found that either these colleges have no deficiencies or that such deficiencies are negligible.

The Court had then, in September last year, allowed the petitions, noting that the deficiencies in these colleges were in fact marginal and that the colleges are largely compliant. It had however lamented the litigation, observing,

“In these writ petitions, this Court was compelled to take note of the annual recurrence of this kind of litigation which creates high pressure and anxiety for the students, medical institutions and all concerned. All the learned counsel appearing for the parties agreed that it is high time some deterrent measures be laid down for the colleges and the state authorities from doing acts which generate such last-minute litigation.”

Thereafter, several incessant disputes were raised, pertaining to the question of what actually transpired at inspections of various private medical colleges by the MCI. The parties, it noted, virtually contested every fact that was recorded in the inspection.

Amicus curiae Kapil Sibal had then suggested employing of a computer network based technological solution, which might include artificial intelligence. For this purpose, he had requested the appointment of an expert in the field, like Mr. Nandan Nilekani. The suggestion was supported by Mr. Gaurav Sharma, who was representing MCI.

“We accordingly request Mr. Nandan Nilekani to go into this problem and give concrete suggestions to this Court at the earliest,” the Court therefore directed.

MCI was further requested to convene a meeting with Mr. Nilekani, Mr. Sibal and any other counsel who may be interested in the matter, either at New Delhi or any other place in India within a period of 15 days. Mr. Sibal is expected to chair the meeting.

In the meantime, Mr. Sharma was directed to prepare a written note highlighting the issues that need to be taken up by Mr. Nilekani to provide solutions to the issues highlighted.

It was left open for Mr. Nilekani to take technical assistance from various IT companies like Wipro, Infosys, Accenture, etc. for presenting appropriate suggestions before the court. The matter has now been listed after six weeks for further hearing.

Read the Order Here