In a major setback to medical aspirants of Punjab, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has not given permission to the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Jalandhar, to admit any student for this session (2013-14). The institute had 150 MBBS seats.
According to sources in the MCI, the council has cancelled permission under Section 10(A) of the MCI Act due to the institute's failure to fulfil the condition of requisite infrastructure.
The MCI sources revealed that the decision was taken following an inspection of the institute, conducted in March this year. The MCI team found that there were serious deficiencies on the part of the college, which neither fulfilled the criteria of adequate faculty required to run a medical college nor had got certain approvals.
When contacted, Dr Kulbir Kaur, director-principal of the institute, said, "We don't know why the MCI has refused us permission to admit students. Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, adjudged our college's result as the best among all medical colleges of the state during the previous session."
She agreed that certain deficiencies were found during the MCI inspection in terms of faculty and other issues. "But we addressed all those deficiencies and send the entire information back to the MCI. The council's decision came as a surprise," she said. Now, the institute has written to the MCI to specify the reason(s) for refusal of permission.
When contacted, Dr SS Gill, vice-chancellor of BFUHS, to which the PIMS is affiliated, said the MCI must have taken the decision on the basis of certain criteria. "The council is fully empowered to take any decision regarding any medical college of the state," said Dr Gill.
Earlier, the PIMS had permission to admit 150 MBBS students every year. The institute started in 2011 and has admitted two batches so far. It was allotted to a society headed by Punjab rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on 99-year lease. In April this year, the institute witnessed a strike by paramedical staff over non-payment of salaries.
As per the MCI communication, Chintpurni Medical College, Pathankot, has also not been granted permission for admissions for 2013-14. This college was not allowed to admit students last year as well.