Thursday, July 26, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Drama of admissions through NRI quota

Recently an Indian student who had secured just 50 per cent marks in her plus two examination and had not even cleared the CET was admitted to the discipline of engineering in a particular university only because her father settled in India could manage to get $20,000 to buy a seat for his ward at that university which, to the bad luck of the poor but meritorious and intelligent students, has for long pushed itself into income-generating activities through such a quota. There are many such examples.

Similarly, to “purchase a seat” through this quota in a medical university or college for an MBBS degree a student does not have to bother to take any entrance test such as PMT but simply to pay $75,000 to that university or college. When a university (which is supposed to play a major role for the improvement of social, scientific and economic environment in a country like India) allows parents to “purchase education” for their wards in engineering and medical sciences and other related disciplines, it is simply spreading not only corruption in society but is also encouraging mediocrity in medicine and engineering, which is absolutely harmful for our poor, developing society.

Moreover, the dangerous signal that our children receive by this process of admission in universities and colleges is that hard labour, intelligence and higher standards in education have less value before the power of money, and that the universities and professional colleges are now more concerned with their earnings rather than with merit, insights into new experiences and excellence in research in science and technology.


In short, if this NRI quota has to continue to be in operation in universities and colleges, it should continue to be so for admitting only the wards of those Indian parents who are settled abroad. Admitting, through this quota, the undeserving children of the Indian parents settled in India is illegal, frustrating and disappointing.

Prof B. L. CHAKOO, GND University, Amritsar

Mix-up of patients

This is in response to the news item regarding the mix-up of patients at Government Medical College, Sector 32, Chandigarh. It is criminal on the part of the hospital authorities to try and defend this incident.

Did the doctor giving anaesthesia not know what kind of anaesthesia the patient was to be given? Did the two patients with the same names not have different hospital/admission numbers? And the operating surgeon?

Is it not a routine for the doctors to recognise their patients or check their records before giving anaesthesia?

This whole episode shows the incompetence of all concerned, and is a cause for worry. This is the level of medical care provided by a so-called premier, “state of the art” hospital that is aspiring for ISO certification. Maybe we will wake up after some VIP undergoes amputation of some normal organ. The common man is easily dismissed.

It might be that the hospital is trying to defend the incident in these days of consumerism by telling us that the patient was admitted for one surgery, and in the bargain got another one done for free (similar to buying a shirt and getting an extra one without paying for it).

So what if she had to stay for a bit longer, at least she got respite from her mundane household chores!!


PU medical test

Red-tapism is adding to the woes of students who are seeking admission to various courses in Panjab University. Each candidate to the university is required to undergo a very elaborate medical examination to determine whether he or she is fit for admission. Whether it is done seriously or not is anybody’s guess.

The university is in a financial difficulty. It has taken this step to get funds in the name of medical examination fee.

If at all medical examination has to be done, then they should check candidates for contagious diseases like tuberculosis, AIDS, Hepatitis B etc.

Height, weight, chest measurements are being taken as if recruitment for the Army is going on. What have these got to do with education and can anyone be rejected on any of these counts. Vision is tested as if for admission to the Air Force, while the blind are being given weightage.

The only thing required should be that a candidate is not suffering from any communicable serious disease.



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