BJP leader Salaria takes over Gian Sagar management, promises revival
In a surprise move, BJP leader Swaran Salaria has taken over the management of Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust that runs the beleaguered Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Banur. A decision in this regards was taken at a board of directors meeting held on Monday, sources said.punjab Updated: Apr 20, 2017 09:44 IST
In a surprise move, BJP leader Swaran Salaria has taken over the management of Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust that runs the beleaguered Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Banur. A decision in this regards was taken at a board of directors meeting held on Monday, sources said.
“I have taken over the management on the condition to clear dues totalling nearly ₹100 crore, including salary of the faculty. Resuming academic activities at the earliest on the campus is the priority,” said Salaria, who is also the chairman of Chintpurni Medical College, Pathankot, that had made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent years.
Manish Jakhar, CEO of the trust, confirmed Salaria’s taking over as a main trustee. “The discussions with Salaria were on for several days and he formally took over the management on Monday,” he said. As per information, six of eight directors in the board have resigned, giving Salaria the freedom to appoint new ones as per his choice.
The move comes in the wake of Punjab government’s decision to cancel essentiality certificates of the medical college, following the management’s inability to clear pending dues totalling Rs 108 crore. The government also plans to shift 1,500 MBBS, dental and nursing students to other medical colleges.
However, the department of medical education and research are unaware of the development. The college was being run by Barinder Bhangoo — the daughter of Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, who is the main accused the Rs 45,000-crore chit-fund scam — and her husband Harsatinder Singh.
“The new members in the board of management of the trust will be appointed soon,” Salaria said.
Besides non-payment of salary to the staff, the power connection of the college has also been snapped due to non-payment of Rs 2-crore electricity bills. The management has not renewed its annual maintenance contract due to pending liabilities amounting to Rs 18 crore.
Meanwhile, medical education minister Brahm Mohindra feigned ignorance about the new management taking over the college. “The government is only concerned about future of the students. The college management will be asked to explain how it is going to clear dues through a show-cause notice soon,” said Mohindra.
Track record not promising
Salaria may be taking over as the new administrator, but his track record of managing affairs of medical college is not promising. As the chairman of Chintpurni Medical College in Pathankot, he failed to streamline its working.
As per the Medical Council of India (MCI) report, the Chintpurni college has faculty deficiency of 87%, besides having 82% shortage of resident doctors. Even, other medical facilities are in doldrums. The first batch of students who joined the college in 2011 was shifted to other medical colleges on the orders of Punjab and Haryana high court in 2014. The college was debarred from new admissions in 2012, 2013 and 2015 academic sessions.
“Clearing salary and resuming power connection are main issues. We will pay salary to faculty and other staff in instalments. The faculty has been asked to resume academic activities from Monday onwards,” Salaria said.
Senior faculty members resign after maiden meeting
Senior faculty members, including dean Dr AS Sekhon resigned soon after Salaria held his maiden meeting with faculty and other staff on Tuesday evening. Director (academics) Dr Jasmeet Kaur, registrar (training, students) Davinder Sood, and chief medical officer DS Joshi also resigned from the service. Many of the faculty members left the meeting after Salaria and his team asked them to resume classes or leave.
“The college is in a complete mess and it is hard to believe that the college will run professionally with Salaria’s entry. I don’t want to tarnish my image further,” said Sekhon.