Digging into conferences' money to fill up alumni fund
Eyebrows have been raised over the directive of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) director Dr YK Chawla to various departments to contribute money meant to be used on holding medical conferences for the alumni fund.chandigarh Updated: Oct 29, 2012 00:29 IST
Eyebrows have been raised over the directive of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) director Dr YK Chawla to various departments to contribute money meant to be used on holding medical conferences for the alumni fund.
It is pertinent to mention here that almost 90% of funds for medical conferences come from surgical/lab equipment manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies. Another source of funding is government, but the money involved is small and also can't be used for any purpose other than holding conferences.
According to a letter written to head of departments on October 9, Dr Chawla said that the PGIMER was trying to create an alumni fund corpus. It had therefore been decided to request organisers of continuing medical education (CME) programmes and conferences to contribute to the PGIMER alumni fund as a kind gesture, he added.
"You have either held or plan to hold such conferences during the golden jubilee year celebrations of the PGI. I, therefore, request for your contribution," he said. For good measures, Dr Chawla also specified the amount: 'Rs 10,000 in case of one-day CME and Rs 25,000 for activities of more than a day.'
"It is totally unethical. The money should have been collected from members of the alumni association. Those who will give money will seek favours later on. It is an example of quid pro quo. Ultimately, the money will come from the pockets of patients since doctors will later try to oblige funding companies," remarked Ashwani Munjal, chairman of PGIMER employees union.
When contacted, Dr SK Jindal, chairman of PGIMER golden jubilee celebration committee, maintained, "We are not seeking money for a single event. It is an effort to create an alumni cell in the institute, which will take up various activities in the coming years too."
Significantly, PGIMER is holding an alumni meeting on December 15 and 16 as part of its ongoing golden jubilee celebrations. The institute has also appealed to its alumni to donate money.
The institute has been charging Rs 2,000 from each alumnus, Rs 3,000 from couples and US $150 for individuals and US $200 for couples from outside India as registration fee for the alumni meet.