Punjab is set to lose 250 MBBS seats in the coming session as the fate of Gian Sagar Medical College at Banur near Patiala and Chintpurni Medical College near Pathankot hang in the balance.
Punjab has 1,375 undergraduate medical seats in three government medical colleges and six private ones, all affiliated to the Faridkot-based Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, besides a private medical university in Bathinda (see box).
Of them, Gian Sagar Medical College with 100 MBBS seats has been served a show-cause notice by the Punjab government for financial mismanagement. The deadline for it to reply to the notice ends on Monday. A final decision is expected after that.
Punjab National Bank took symbolic possession of the college on Tuesday due to its failure of pay pending loan amounting to over Rs 45 crore.
Chintpurni Medical College with 150 MBBS seats has been in trouble ever since its inception in 2011. Its first batch of students was shifted on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court in 2015. A similar petition of the second batch of students enrolled in 2014 is pending in the court.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday told the state medical education department to put the college on closure notice.
A senior official said the show-cause notice will be sent soon to Chintpurni Medical College for withdrawing government permissions, including the approval to run medical courses.
- Medical colleges in Punjab and MBBS seats
- Government Medical College, Patiala: 200
- Government Medical College, Amritsar: 200
- Guru Gobind Singh Government Medical College, Faridkot: 100
- Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana: 100
- Christian Medical College, Ludhiana: 75
- Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences, Jalandhar: 150
- Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research: 150
- Gian Sagar Medical College, Banur: 100
- Chintpurni Medical college, Pathankot: 150
- Adesh University of Medical Sciences and Research, Bathinda: 150
Loss for students
National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) trainer Dr Arvind Goyal said the shutting down of both colleges will be a huge loss for medical aspirants. “But I don’t blame the state government for their closure since they could not maintain the required infrastructure and academic standards to produce quality doctors over the years,” he said
Dr Goyal said it is better not to have colleges than leave medical students in the lurch due to mismanagement of colleges.
Dr Neena Singhal, a Patiala-based parent of a medical aspirant seeking admission in the coming session, said, “It is unfortunate to see the loss of so many medical seats in Punjab. These colleges should not have been allowed to run in the first place rather than de-recognising them later.”
To maintain the standard in medical education, the government should invest in new colleges besides monitoring colleges in private sector regularly, she said.
“The latest announcement of the Punjab government to start a medical college in Mohali with 100 seats is a welcome step,” Dr Goyal added.