Monday, July 2, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Haryana defends medical seats’ 
reservation for NRIs

The report “Medical seats on sale” (June 20) and the editorial “Selling of education” (June 21) are based on incorrect information.

The decision to reserve seats for NRIs is based upon a verdict of the Supreme Court of India and is being implemented by several other states, including Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Haryana made such a reservation in May this year on the pattern of Punjab to enable the institution to generate funds for improving medical education facilities.

PGIMS, Rohtak, was an institute of repute until the mid-1980s but has been going downhill in spite of its being declared a postgraduate institute. No concerted efforts were made to upgrade this institution either by improving the quality of teaching or the hospital facilities. One of the main reasons was the lack of funds. The quality of the institute can be improved by having super-specialities, upgrading and modernising the diagnostic facilities and improving the teaching methodology. The government is committed to improving the status of the institute and has decided to give additional funds for this purpose.


The Haryana Government decided to have NRI seats on the pattern being followed by Punjab which has been implementing this for the past two years. In the first year, the decision led to litigation but the courts upheld the decision of the Punjab Government. After verifying all these facts and having a plan of action for upgrading the institute, the state decided to have 17 of the 115 seats, i.e. 15%, for NRI quota whereas last year the seats were increased to 150 and this year it is expected that this number will be renewed. Students of Agroha Medical College are being adjusted against the enhanced seats, while some seats in addition will be available to the institute for fresh recruitment.

It is wrong to say that dental colleges are affiliated to Maharshi Dayanand University. There are four dental colleges, three of them are recognised and all four are affiliated to Kurukshetra University. Only the PGIMS, Rohtak, and Agroha Medical College are affiliated to MDU. Since there is no medical university in Haryana, the universities, by rotation are holding the entrance examination. In 1997 and 1998, the government had declared Maharishi Dayanand University as the competent authority and it held the entrance examination. In 2000, the government had declared Guru Jambheshwar University as the competent authority and this year Kurukshetra University has been declared as the competent authority.

The autonomy of the university is in no way jeopardised. In fact, the status of all the universities is enhanced by entrusting them with the responsibility for holding the entrance examination in the absence of a medical university.

As far as utilisation of the amount received from the NRI quota is concerned, a policy decision has been taken that the funds so generated will be provided to the institute for its development. The government has decided to set up a cardiac centre in collaboration with AIIMS that will become functional within six months. The diagnostic facilities will be modernised by installing MRI, CT Scan, Colour Doppler etc. The management of the laboratories will be improved. The vacancies in the faculty are being filled and a close liaison is being maintained with the Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, and the Director, PGI, Chandigarh, and other people of eminence in the field of medical education, to assist us in developing the institute. Efforts are being made to increase the seats in the dental college from 20 to 60 and to start P.G. teaching from the current session. Seventy-five dental chairs and other equipment necessary to improve the quality of dental education have been ordered.

The government is committed to giving autonomy to PGIMS, Rohtak, and for this purpose a Board of Management with considerable autonomy has been constituted which will look after the working of PGIMS, including the dental college. The students will benefit from all the steps being taken to upgrade and modernise the institute. The quality of education will improve and for this purpose it is essential that resources be generated.

VEENA EAGLETON, Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Haryana

OUR CORRESPONDENT WRITES: Ms Eagleton has tried to sidetrack the main issue and confuse the public mind.

The Supreme Court has not said that seats should be reserved for NRIs. It has only said that if any institution wants to reserve seats for NRIs, these cannot be done beyond 15 per cent of the seats. She wants to create the impression that the Supreme Court has ordered reservation of seats for NRIs. This is factually wrong.

As regards reservation of seats for the NRIs in Punjab, Ms Eagleton must be aware that Punjab has six medical colleges and the seats available in that state are about 600 as against 115 in Hayana. The report says that the government has reserved seats for NRIs without asking the Medical Council of India (MCI) to increase the number of seats. Had that been done, nobody would have objected to reservation of seats for NRIs.

Ms Eagleton has also tried to confuse the public by saying that the number of seats was increased to 150 last year. The fact is that the additional 35 seats are exclusively for students transferred from Agroha Medical College in 1999 following the closure of that college.

She had tried to justify the reservation of seats for NRIs on the plea that funds received against these seats will be utilised for the development of the PGIMS, Rohtak.

The MRI scan, which she says is being installed with funds generated by NRI seats, is in fact being installed by private parties.

As regards setting up of a cardiac centre in collaboration with AIIMS, it is not possible. AIIMS cannot establish a cardiac centre outside the institution. There is no provision for such a venture in AIIMS rules and regulation.

Ms Eagleton says that a Board of Management with considerable autonomy has been constituted to look after the work of PGIMS, Rohtak. This board was constituted nearly five years ago. It had held only three meetings so far and none of the decisions taken by the board has been honoured or implemented by the government. This board has not met for more than two years.

I have said that the only government dental college in Haryana is affiliated to Maharshi Dayanand University. I have not disputed the existence of other dental colleges which are affiliated to Kurukshetra University. All other dental colleges are in the private sector and have 50 per sent seats as paid seats.

Before 1996, the pre-medical Entrance tests were conducted by Maharshi Dayanand University despite the affiliation of other dental colleges with Kurukshetra University. It was only in 1996 that a committee of secretaries conducted the test as relations between the then Vice Chancellor, Mr Vivek Sharma, and the then Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal had got strained.

In the following year, the test was again conducted by Maharshi Dayanand University as a new Vice Chancellor had taken charge in place of Mr Vivek Sharma. In 1998 also the test was conducted by Maharshi Dayanand Univesity.

Again in 1999, the test was conducted by a team of secretaries as the relations between the then Vice-Chancellor, Lt-Gen O.P. Kaushik (retd), and the Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal, had deteriorated. But after Mr Om Parkash Chautala became Chief Minister in July 1999, the test for admissions in 2000 was conducted by Guru Jambheshwar University and this year it is being conducted by Kurukshetra University.

Unemployment tax ?

In many countries governments pay unemployment allowance whereas in our country unemployed youth are required to pay unemployment tax.

Most educational institutions, while advertising posts, require candidates to submit applications with drafts of Rs 100 each, besides photographs and attested copies of certificates. Applications are supposed to be submitted by registered post. In all each applicant spends Rs 200 on submitting an application. Can anyone ensure that unemployed youth are not burdened with such expenses?

R.C. GANDHI, Ludhiana



Artillery’s role

In the article “Support elements as fighting arms” (June 19), the author has placed the role and place of artillery in a battle in the correct perspective. During the Kargil operations, the media and interested groups had created a hype about the part played by the artillery and given it a larger than life image. This made the artillery and the higher command go over-board and let artillery acquire, at a great cost, a whole range of equipment of doubtful performance.

“Kasnopol” ammunition for the Bofors gun bought for Rs 150 crore is one such example. “Kasnopol,” like the copper head ammunition of US origin, is laser guided for which a laser designation has to be positioned 3 to 5 km from the target with a clear line of sight. Now this laser designator is not only prohibitively expensive but is also a cumbersome piece of equipment.

Whereas, overall an ATGM offers a cheaper and more practical option. There have been reports in the Press that “Kasnopol” ammunition has been a failure.It is indeed surprising that an officer of Pankhaj Joshi’s service and rank could come up with such inappropriate and illogical recommendations. Let us hope better sense prevails at Army Headquarters and recommendations are given the burial these deserve.

COL IQBAL SINGH, (retd) Chandigarh



‘Ji Mantri Ji’

I strongly protest the use of a remark in the TV serial “Ji Mantri Ji” telecast on June 21 on Star Plus at 9.30 p.m that “Press wale to gadhe hote hain’. No doubt in a democratic country like India, everyone is free to express his views, but the use of objectionable language is not tolerable.

HARISH. K. MONGA Ferozepore

Punishment for rape

The incidents of rape are on the rise. In my opinion the punishment to the rapist should be so harsh that nobody dare think of rape. Every rapist should be castrated.



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