Govt seeks postponement of inspection by central authorities owing to lack of progress on infrastructure building, manpower recruitment

Srinagar October 2:

The two new medical colleges in Jammu and Kashmir may not start the MBBS courses from next academic session as neither the infrastructure nor the required manpower was in place yet, officials said.

The government has sought postponement of inspection by the union health ministry authorities of the two new medical colleges coming up in Anantnag and Kathua for their preparedness for admissions, raising questions about the earlier decision to start MBBS courses there from next academic session.

A senior official said that the state government has communicated to the central health ministry authorities its lack of readiness regarding recruitment of human resource for the medical colleges.

The J&K Public Service Commission started interviews for hiring entry-level faculty for the new colleges, and has committed to complete the entire process by November, but there is no progress in recruitment of other crucial staff.

The official said that the health and medical education department was yet to get approval for recruitment of staff on academic arrangement.

“There is no progress on recruitment of higher level faculty, administrative staff and clerical staff,” the official said, adding that a proposal was submitted by the H&ME department but it has not been cleared yet.

The Medical Council of India—which will be now replaced by National Medical Commission— was scheduled to inspect the two under-construction colleges in September and take a call for starting MBBS courses in Anantnag and Kathua.

But the inspection was put off on the request of the state government.

Another official said that the delay in completion of basic infrastructure was also a reason why the state government sought postponement of the inspection.

“For one and a half months, there was hardly any civil work on Anantnagcollege (buildings),” the official said, attributing it to shortage of cement supply that forced the J&K Projects Construction Company (JKPCC) to halt the work.

The official feared that the likelihood of meeting the December-2018 deadline for starting basic labs and classrooms, as required to get a go-ahead for starting MBBS course was “low”.

“The main college building will take a long time, but we are not ready even with basic structure for one batch of 100 students,” the official said.

J&KPCC managing director Vikar Mustafa Shonthu also admitted cement shortage had caused delay in the construction work, but appeared confident about meeting the December deadline.

“We have sorted that out (cement shortage) and are positive that we would meet December deadline for completing basic classrooms and labs,” he said.

Principal medical college Anantnag, Prof ShowkatGeelani said “out of box” recruitment pattern for the colleges was needed to kick start training the first batch of MBBS.

“With the current pace, there could be delays, but we are positive we would come up with an innovative way to get human resource posted at the college,” he said.

Courtesy: Greater Kashmir