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Posted at: May 10, 2017, 1:32 AM; last updated: May 10, 2017, 1:32 AM (IST)

Gian Sagar loses approval, process to shift students on

Gagan K Teja

Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 9

The state government today withdrew essentiality certificates given to the medical, dental, nursing and physiotherapy colleges being run by Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust.

The government will now officially start the process of shifting 1,550 students of these colleges to other institutes in the state.

Even as a petition on the matter is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the government has already initiated talks with the Medical Council of India (MCI) as the management of these colleges was unable to produce any concrete plan for running the colleges that have been lying shut for about three months now due to financial constraints. The electricity, water supply and other essential services to the colleges and hostels have been discontinued.

During the hearing on the writ petition today, the government said it was not going to acquire the colleges owing to the hidden financial liabilities. Moreover, since Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust is run by the family of Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, the key accused in the Rs 45,000-crore PACL ponzi scam, the government expressed doubt that the properties might be attached by the Lodha panel.

Health and Medical Education Minister Brahm Mohindra said: “The staff members were of the view that we should acquire the college instead of constructing a new Rs 200-crore medical college in Mohali. But here, we will be getting 60 per cent grant from the Centre. Moreover, we don’t know how much hidden liabilities Gian Sagar has. We cannot take that risk,” he said.

The minister said the Medical Council of India had given its go ahead for shifting the 1,550 Gian Sagar students to eight colleges of Punjab as per their merit list.

Staff face uncertainty

The development has come as a setback for the staff members who had been protesting for three months for the release of their salaries. Balwinder Kaur, a widow and mother of three children, said it was unjust on the part of the government. “I was getting Rs 7,500 per month. The management has not paid me salary for seven months and now they are closing the institute. We have nowhere to go,” she said. Another widow Dev Rani, who has five daughters, said she had to discontinue the education of her children. “I have been borrowing money from my relatives with a hope that the matter will be sorted out some day,” she said.

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