Thursday, June 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Panel to study medical fee structure
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 25
The Punjab Government has set up an eight-member standing committee for fixing of tuition fee and distribution of seats under different categories as sought under the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry following the judgement of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.

Stating this Chaudhry Santokh Singh, Minister for Medical Education , said here today that the committee would consist of the Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Dr Swaran Singh, Secretary, Medical Education, Director Research and Medical Education, Vice-Chancellor, baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Principal Government Medical College, Amritsar, Principal Government Dental College, Patiala, and Principals of two private medical and dental colleges namely Dr S.C. Ahuja, Principal, DMC and Hospital, Ludhiana and Principal, Deshmesh Institute of Dental Sciences, Faridkot.

The committee would go into the cost of medical and dental education in colleges in the private sector.

The constitution bench of the Supreme Court had in its judgement on October 31, 2002, allowed the private unaided medical colleges to have their own fee structure provided it was not for profit making.

The apex court had observed, ‘A rational fee structure shall be adopted by the management which will not be entitled to charge capitation fee.’ Following this judgement, the Union Health Ministry issued guidelines to the state governments asking them to set up standing committee for the fixation of fee and distribution of seats under various categories. Chaudhry Santokh Singh said the committee would give its report before the finalisation of the admission to the MBBS and postgraduate courses.

The minister for Medical Education said that the state government had not accepted the tuition fee fixed by the management of Dyanand Medcal College and Hospital at Rs 4 lakh, per student, per year which was violative of the Supreme Court judgement as it amounted to profit making. The medical education should not become a business, he remarked.

Chaudhry Santokh Singh said they were studying the fee structure of other states too.

The management of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital has fixed the tuition fee for the undergraduate courses at Rs 5 lakh per student per year.

The deputations of the DMCH had met the Chief Minister and Minister for Medical Education and explained the position with regard to the fixation of the tuition fee.

Mr Amrit Nagpal, secretary of the managing society, DMCH, said they had told the state government that the management had left 20 seats for the Scheduled Castes, backward classes and other tribes and they would be admitted at the fee of Rs 13,000 per student per year. This way the management was subsidising Rs 3.08 lakh per student. He said that the Punjab Government had issued notification on May14 under the old judgement of the Supreme Court on the basis of the Unikrishnana versus the State of Andhra Pradesh which had been superseded by the October 31 judgement of the apex court.

The management of the Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences, Amritsar has fixed the tuition fee at Rs 1.26,500 per student per year while the management of the CMCH, Ludhiana, has not revised the fee this year and retained the same at Rs 70,000 per student per year.

The PMET for admission to the MBBS course for various medical colleges in Punjab will be conducted by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences on June 29. The admission process will be completed within the month of July.

According to Dr Ahuja, the academic session must start by August 1. This was mandatory under instructions from the Supreme Court and the Medical Council of India (MCI).

Meanwhile, it learnt that managements of private colleges maintain that the guidelines issued by the Central Health Ministry were just advisory and not mandatory. As a result, the medical colleges in Karnataka and Maharashtra states had refused to accept the fee structure fixed by the standing committees of these states. Ten out of 22 medical colleges in the Karnataka state have fixed the tuition fee between Rs. 2.50 lakh to Rs 2.75 against the recommendation of Rs 2.65 lakh per student per year. Twelve medical colleges have agreed with the state committee recommendations.

Similarly in Maharashtra, private medical colleges have decided to organise their own entrance test and fix the tuition fee according to their own estimate of cost of education. Will the management of DMCH Ludhiana follow the suit?



Principals relieved, but for how long?
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
Minister for Higher Education and Languages Harnam Dass Johar’s decision regarding admissions to plus I and II classes has brought relief to principals. But Ms Madanjit Kaur Sahota, Principal of Master Tara Singh Memorial College, said, "Like previous years we had made provisional admissions from April since we did not receive any official communique in this connection.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, she said private colleges had the infrastructure to run plus I and II classes while most of the schools lack infra-structure. “Our relief is short-lived as nobody knows what will happen next year? What will we do with our surplus staff? Institutions will face a serious financial crunch if these classes are discontinued.”

The colleges are facing an awkward situation as Ms Harmeet Kaur of Ramgarhia College says, "Parents and students feel that if the classes are to be continued in schools from next year then it is better to continue their education in schools only. We are relieved, but the relief is temporary. We will definitely have fewer students this year. Probably only students opting for science subjects will take admission in colleges.”

Mr BD Budhiraja, general secretary of Principals’ Association and Principal of Kamla Lotia College says, "My initial reaction is that we have suffered a lot. But it is a welcoming step as the rural colleges would be saved from financial constraints this year. The two classes are responsible for 40 per cent of the income of rural colleges. In many villages, hardly any school offers plus one and two classes.



NCC wings for more colleges 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
The Minister for Higher Education and Languages, Mr Harnam Das Johar, said in order to develop all-round personality of the students, more NCC wings would be set up in colleges and the quota fixed for the enrollment of 48,000 cadets would be filled.

Mr Johar was addressing cadets at the National Integration Training camp held at Koom Kalan, 30 km from here, last evening. As many as 520 cadets from various states are participating. The minister said the NCC proved to be very useful whenever the country faced any kind of eventuality.

Referring to the attention being given to the NCC in the state, Mr Johar said though the state had not able to achieve the fixed target, around 44,000 students were being imparted training every year.

Extending a warm welcome on behalf of the state government to the cadets, the minister said the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had sanctioned funds for providing diet and T-shirts to every cadet. He appreciated the various activities, including cultural, mock fighting and horse show, presented by cadets and took the salute from cadets.

Mr D. S. Dhillon, Deputy Director-General, NCC, while highlighting the various kinds of training imparted to the cadets, said this was the first camp organised in the rural India.



LLB aspirants to submit forms to PU

Ludhiana, June 25
The Panjab University Teaching Department has said that LLB admission forms for the 2003-2004 session for the Regional Centre, Ludhiana, are to be submitted to the Chairperson, Department of Law, Panjab University, Chandigarh, where counselling will take place for Chandigarh and Ludhiana LLB admissions. Counselling for admission to MCA for Chandigarh and the Regional Centre, Muktsar, will take place at the Department of Computer Science and Applications, Panjab University.

A handbook of information is available from today at the Panjab University Extension Library, Ludhiana, from 10 am to 6 pm. OC


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