Pathankot medical college students seek early exit, pressure on Punjab govt

  • Vivek Gupta, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Jul 12, 2016 10:32 IST
The HC order comes three days after the government submitted that moving students to the other state-run colleges would take a few months. (HT File )

The pressure of shifting of 101 last-batch students of Pathankot’s Chintpurni Medical College has mounted on the Punjab government.

On Monday, the Punjab and Haryana high court directed director of research and medical education Dr Manjit Mohi to appear on July 15 to discuss the matter. The order comes three days after the government submitted that moving students to the other state-run colleges would take a few months, pending the medical education department’s decision on the withdrawal of essentiality certificate to the college.

The students enrolled in the session 2014-15 press for early exit over a “virtual collapse of the college’s academic atmosphere”. Student Parth Monga cited the shortage of teachers and patients for almost a year now. “Besides, teachers keep changing and the classes are irregular,” he said. “If the government wants us to become good doctors and get recognised degrees after five years, it should shift us to better colleges.”

Genesis of the problem

The Medical Council of India (MCI) requires new medical colleges to clear inspection while the first batch is in. This is to have its degree recognised and further admission allowed. After the first batch graduates, the recognition is renewed every five years.

Chintpurni Medical College came up in 2011 with 150 MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) seats after the council issued it a letter of intent based on state government’s essentiality certificate, which is an undertaking to the Centre that if the college fails to get regular recognition, the state government will adjust the students in one of own colleges.

The college’s failure to clear inspection first two years in a row set off panic in the first batch and admission stopped. Fearing they will not get valid degrees after course, the students managed transfer to other state medical colleges after a two-year legal battle.

Last batch’s fate uncertain

The fate of the 2014-15 or last batch of students hangs in balance. “To start the batch, the college had to move the Supreme Court and promise to deliver adequate facilities,” said Sushil Garg, parent of a medical student from Bathinda. “But the last two MCI inspections revealed how the college had almost no teacher.”

Another parent, Arun Batra, said the government should not delay the shifting process and take action under the essentiality-certificate clause. Medical education secretary Vikas Partap declined to comment on the grounds that the matter was in court. His affidavit in the court states that the transfer will come before November.

College chairman Swaran Salaria said the Supreme Court had scheduled another hearing next month. “We have no infrastructural deficiency that the MCI claims to have observed,” he said.

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