Wednesday, March 3, 2021
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SC appoints Nilekani to prepare Computer Network and AI based solution for medical college inspection

Supreme Court of India has appointed Nandan Nilekani for examining the possibility of deploying a computer technology including artificial intelligence based solution for inspection of medical colleges by Medical Council of India (MCI).

The court was hearing a petition has been filed before the apex court by a private medical college which has been denied to admit fresh students in MBBS course for the academic year 2017-18 by the central government. The contention of petitioner Azhar Medical College and Super Specialty Hospital is that they had no deficiencies or even if there are some deficiencies they are negligible.

Last year the court had noted that in fact most of the deficiencies of those colleges which are barred admission by the government are marginal and colleges were largely following the regulations. However, the court has expressed its displeasure over the fact that every year such litigations are filed in the court which results in high pressure and anxiety for students, colleges and everyone else concerned. Court had said that it is high time that some mechanism is evolved which does not cause such litigation. Court had noted that medical colleges contest almost every fact that is recorded in inspections by MCI, and there should be a way to eliminate this.

Advocate for petitioner Kapil Sibal suggested the court that “a computer network based technological solution which might include artificial intelligence” could be used for inspection of the medical colleges by MCI. For this purpose, Sibal requested that the court may appoint an expert in the field like Nandan Nilekani. Kapil Sibal has been appointed Amicus Curiae in the case by the court.

The bench of Justices S. A. Bobde and L Nageswara Rao accepted the suggestion of Sibal and requested Nilekani to study the problem and come up with concrete suggestions at the earliest. The court ordered that MCI will convene a meeting with Nandan Nilekani, Kapil Sibal, and any other interested counsel within 15 days, which is to be chaired by Sibal. Nilekani is expected to prepare an IT-based solution for inspection of medical colleges, which may involve the use of artificial intelligence also.

Court asked MCI’s counsel Gaurav Sharma to prepare a detail note for Nilekani detailing the issues that are needed to be taken up to come up with a technological solution. The order states that Nilekani is free to take any technical assistance from various IT companies like Wipro, Infosys, Accenture, etc. for preparing the suggestions.

Link for the court order here [PDF].

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