Brahm Mohindra, a sitting Congress legislator from Patiala (rural) and a former cabinet minister for research and medical education, has lamented the steep hike in the fee in medical colleges in Punjab without proper notice and allowing admission to a large number of students from other states by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.
Mohindra lamented that the Punjab government had not opened any new Medical College during the last 40 years. The state-government even missed a one time opportunity provided by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to increase 100 MBBS seats each for the State run Medical Colleges for the session 2013-14.
He said that many South Indian States had encashed this one time opportunity for increasing seats but the state government failed in this regard. Now the poor people can't even think of putting their wards in medical stream and medical education had become a pipe dream for the middle class students.
Brahm Mohindra said that in case the government was serious about bringing about an improvement in the field of medical education in the state, a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister should be constituted because the present set up was incapable of handling this important sector vital for reinforcement of the healthcare system in the state of Punjab.
Mohindra said the MBBS course aspirants in Punjab this year were feeling cheated as the annual fee structure as mentioned in the prospectus for the 2013 admission session issued by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot clearly stated that the fee in private colleges would be Rs 1.5 lakh for government quota seats and Rs 4 lakh per year for management quota seats. He alleged that violating all norms, the Punjab government had hiked this fee to Rs 2 lakh and Rs 6 lakh per year without any prior notice.
In addition to this compulsory hostel charges of Rs 1.5 lakh per year were also being charged from the admitted students.
The Medical Council of India and the Supreme Court guidelines for holding first counseling on June 15 and the second counseling on august 5 each year were not adhered to. The first counseling was deliberately delayed for one and a half months so as to help the private medical colleges to get the fee hike notified by the government before admissions.
He also claimed that "The Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Jalandhar, was not given approval by the MCI to admit students in the MBBS course this year. Though a huge amount of money was spent to develop infrastructure, however for obvious reasons, it was given to private parties at throwaway price."