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EDUCATION

Govt interference in admissions irks churches
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 27
With the state government making its stand clear on admissions to undergraduate courses (MBBS and BDS) in the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here and the response of the Christian community in general and the nominees of various churches in particular to the alleged government interference in the affairs of the medical institution, the battle lines seemed to have been drawn for a prolonged tussle.

Reacting to the reported curtailment of seats reserved for the Christian community to 50 per cent by the Majithia Committee, highly placed sources in the CMCH told Ludhiana Tribune that the institution had been admitting students to all categories of courses through its own entrance test which had been deemed fair and transparent. But, the decision of the committee that rest of the seats would be filled on the basis of the merit drawn from common PMT, being conducted by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, would not only compromise the interest of the unaided minority status of this 100-year-old Christian institution, but also be a gross injustice to the Christian community as a whole.

The CMCH administration was sore over the fact while the Supreme Court, in its two judgements in the TMA Pai case and the Islamic Academy case had provided for these institutions to continue with their own admission process, which they had been doing for the past more than 25 years, the state government had chosen to challenge this provision, the sources added.

“It also gravely affects our All-India character. The decision of the state government to press the committee for the implementation of this decision will very seriously affect the values upon which this institution has been founded and its mandate to train health professionals to serve the underprivileged citizens of this country, especially in rural areas," remarked a senior administrator of the CMCH. He opined that the decision unfortunately favoured those candidates who would avail themselves of educational opportunities of this institution to serve the elite and privileged societies of this country or migrate to affluent countries.

Terming the decision of the government as contrary to the assurance given by the Chief Minister of Punjab and the Minister of Health and Medical Education that the status quo of the admission process being conducted for over 50 years, would be maintained, the sources further asserted that the Christian Medical College Ludhiana Society had no other choice but to seek redressal, wherever necessary.

Meanwhile, reacting to the Punjab Government’s notification of July 21, 2004, which sought to severely curtail the powers and rights of the CMCH in the admission process, an emergency meeting of the representatives of all local churches was convened by Rev. Ram Lal, priest in charge, Kalvari Church CNI, here today.

Speaking at the occasion, representatives from many of the local churches termed the action of the government as a direct interference in the affairs of the minority community. “It is an infringement of the rights and privileges granted by the Constitution of India, and as such action of the government clearly negates the very spirit of the constitutional rights of the minority community,” they said, adding that the attitude of the government was tantamount to snatching the rights of the community and openly ridiculing the Indian judicial system.

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Panjab varsity leaves 20 students in the lurch
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 27
The indifferent attitude of the Panjab University, Chandigarh, has caused harassment to 20 students of the local Satish Dhawan Government College for Boys as they are unable to get admission into B A Part II since their marks-sheets of the previous examination have been held up by the university.

The students, with university roll nos 51548 to 51567 who appeared this year for the B A Part I examination have been denied the admission into the next class by the college on the plea that their detail marks cards have not been released by the university as the award list of these students for Punjabi compulsory paper 'B' have been misplaced.

An affected student, Amanpreet Singh ( Roll no 51567), told Ludhiana Tribune when, he along with other students ,went to Chandigarh and tried to meet Mr Sodhi Ram, Controller, Exams, Panjab University, to plead their case, he refused to meet them. He reportedly marked the plea to the Assistant Registrar

The students rued that when they requested the college Principal to help them since the classes had already commenced on July 17, she replied:" we cannot do anything in this case". 

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