As reported by Prasad Patil in on 07 April 2008:
Mumbai: Is JJ nursing college real?*YOUTH & CAREER*NEWS

Mumbai: Is JJ nursing college real?

Mumbai: California nursing board questioned credentials of the college, before granting registration to one of its alumni, as JJ doesn’t have a website; college refused to provide ‘confidential’ info; finally, RTI came to her rescue.

It was an unusual query that stumped the JJ Institute of Nursing Education, a 150-year-old institute that is part of the state-owned JJ group of hospitals. The Board of Nursing, California, wanted to check the credentials of the institute and its curriculum, before issuing registration to a former JJ student, Ruby Joseph. The questions arose as the hospital does not have a website.

Even though Joseph’s job in a California hospital was at stake, the college refused to provide the information, saying it was confidential.

Interestingly, the questionnaire included elementary questions such as ‘Does the Ministry of Health approve your school?’ ‘Which year was it approved?’, ‘Which year was the school founded?’ etc.

Finally, Joseph’s brother-in-law Thomas Thankan, who lives in Mulund, filed an application under Right to Information (RTI) Act on February 11. The California board granted her registration on March 28 after she furnished the information acquired.

“She was depressed as things were getting delayed. Her visa would have expired in May. For a month, I was running from pillar to post. I visited five offices from Mantralaya to JJ Hospital, but did not get any response. Without the RTI, I would have never got the information,” said Thankan.

Ashwini Pandherkar, matron of the nursing insititute, said, “We were surprised to receive such a query. Lakhs of our students work in hospitals in the Gulf countries, UK and even the US. This is the first time we have received such a query.” She added that the hospital will have its website functional within three to four months.

JJ dean, Dr Pravin Shingare, however said that Joseph never approached his office. He also claimed that JJ Hospital’s website is up and running for more than two years. However, he could not provide the URL of the website.

In its reply to the RTI, JJ Hospital could not answer when the JJ School of Nursing was formed and what year the nursing programme started, saying the relevant documents were not available.

Matron Ashwini Pandherkar said, “Our office was shifted in the 80s and some old record was lost in that process. Our college is more than 150 years old. But we did not find the records to tell the exact year of its founding.”

However, Joseph was granted registration in California only because the reply to the RTI said that the hospital belongs to the government of Maharashtra.