Why another medical college?

THE editorial “Another medical college” (Oct 26) is timely. It reflects the growing public concern regarding the future of old medical institutes and the justifiability for the new ones, exposing the unhealthy pre-election politics. Such editorials build public opinion and highlight the deteriorating condition of our premier medical institutions and whether there is any need for the new ones, without improving the older medical institutes.

Since 1978, as a medical student, I have watched the gradual deterioration of the country’s best medical colleges. Over the years, these institutes have lost their sheen due to undue interference in their working and lack of vision on the part of the politicians and bureaucrats.

If the Punjab government opens new institutes without the political will to check corruption and enforce accountability and transparency in running them, I am afraid, the new ones will also join the club of duplicated, deplorable and decaying old medical institutes. What is the use of medical colleges if they are to churn out hundreds of substandard medical graduates and postgraduates?

It is the quality and not quantity that matters, as doctors have to play with human lives. Doctors don’t get another chance. Quality cannot and should not be compromised at any cost.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda


The announcement of a medical college in Malerkotla is not only populist but also a big financial and professional loss. Mushrooming of medical colleges — like engineering colleges — is hazardous. The medical college will be in close proximity to the one in Patiala; a similar college has already been opened in Banur which is closer to Chandigarh and Patiala than the one in Malerkotla.

Too many medical colleges will lower the professional standards and encourage commercialisation of education. Seats under management and NRI quotas, for instance, are destroying the standard of education in the existing medical colleges.



I endorse the editorial view that “a well equipped hospital for Malerkotla makes sense, but not a medical college.” This is yet another pre-poll gimmick of the ruling Congress government in Punjab to lure the voters of a particular community without having regard to the feasibility of such a move.

Comparison can be drawn with the establishment of Maharaja Agarsain Medical College at Agroha in Haryana; this college has not been able to function properly despite the best efforts of the Agarwal community. On the other hand, had a super-specialty hospital been established in the name of Maharaja Agarsain at Agroha instead of a medical college, that would have served the needs of the region in a better way.


Criterion for teachers’ selection

I thank the Punjab government for having decided to recruit B.Ed teachers. The criterion for selection will be the academic percentage of the candidates and there will be no interview. In B.Ed, there are internal and external examination marks. Different universities award the degree in different ways. Some universities like Punjabi University, Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, include internal in total marks while others like Panjab University, Chandigarh, show internal and external marks separately.

I request the authorities concerned to follow a uniform pattern for the selection of B.Ed teachers. They should consider the B.Ed percentage for all the universities, i.e. either internal and external total marks, or only external marks.

Dr SNEHA GARG, Rampura Phul (Bathinda)


Scrap this practice

The Income-Tax Department, at the time of issuing refund orders to the assessees, ask them to withhold presentation for payment, for two weeks or so till the advice of their drawing reaches the paying/drawee bank. Why this practice?

Banks pay cheques immediately on presentation after verifying the signatures of the signatories registered on their specimen signature cards in the bank books. The IT authorities should dispense with this practice forthwith. The laws of our land and the IT Department’s powers are more than enough to catch any wrongdoing.

R.C. SUNEJA, New Delhi

Ruling on Godhra

I refer to the letter “Ruling on Godhra” (Nov 1). The issue in question is the politics behind setting up the U.C. Banerjee panel. Its constitution was not only illegal but mala fied also, as ruled by the Gujarat High Court. Further, the way its interim report was released just before the Bihar Assembly elections speaks volumes about Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s real intentions. The Gujarat High Court has very rightly declared the Banerjee panel as null and void.

A.K. SHARMA, Chandigarh



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