Punjab govt to ask Gian Sagar management to pay Rs 108 crore or face closure
The Punjab government reached this figure after a recent audit of the college; management will be asked pay nearly Rs 42 crore before the expiry of the notice period to be served in a day or twopunjab Updated: Apr 17, 2017 08:28 IST
As the state government will set in motion cancellation of the permissions to Gian Sagar Medical College by slapping a show-cause notice anytime in next two days, the institute’s management will be asked to clear liability of Rs 108 crore, it is learnt. “The government notice will carry the deadline for the management to clear the liability,” said health minister Brahm Mohindra.
He said the government reached this figure after a recent audit of the college and the management will be asked pay nearly Rs 42 crore before the expiry of the notice period so that classes are resumed. The money will be used to clear salaries of staff, pay electricity bills and other liabilities. The management will be asked to pay the remaining sum in two months, which will be used to revive college’s 700-bed hospital and equipment, which are in a mess, the minister said.
“The management has the option to clear the liability in consonance with the government’s notice and run the institute professionally thereon, but chances of that happening are remote. In case the college authorities don’t do the needful before the expiry of the deadline, the government will cancel all the permissions and start the process to shift the students to other colleges,” he said. The minister said the notice will likely be for two weeks, but decision will be taken on Monday in consultation with the attorney general.
Mohindra said talks with the Centre are already underway to ensure smooth transition of shifting 1,500 students — 500 each from medical, dental and nursing streams.
“The students will be shifted to other colleges as per the MCI rules. For instance, a student enrolled under the government quota at Gian Sagar will be shifted in the same category in some other college. The MCI and other bodies will grant us the permission to increase seats in colleges concerned as per the requirement,” he said.
Mohindra said that shifting process may take time and there are chances that students may not be able to sit for their annual examination due in June or July. “In that eventuality, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences will be asked to conduct special exam for the students,” he said.
Staff in the lurch
As the college stares at closure, faculty and staff will suffer the most. The college has nearly 70 senior faculty members, besides 1,000 other employees, who will lose their jobs. And government seems to be in no position to come to their rescue.
A faculty member, Sandeep Kumar said it was now a make-or-break proposition for the management. “Whatever they decide, they should think about the future of so many people who will go unemployed once the college is shut,” he said.
Mohindra said the government will try to give some financial relief to the staff from the college’s endowment fund which they collected from the students over the years. “But as far as employment is concerned, we are in no position at this moment to commit anything,” he said.
Liabilities come in way of takeover
Even as staff wants government to take over the college to save their jobs, the government officials said given the fiscal health of the state government, it can’t bear liability of ₹108 crore. Further, taking over the college will invite major legal complications since the land and other physical assets are with the Gian Sagar Charitable Trust that runs the institute.