Chandigarh: The JSB group running an automobile business in the country has taken over the Gian Sagar Medical College, Banur, Mohali. This take over includes the buying of the college’s Rs. 200 crore liabilities from the Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust. The new management plans to put the sick unit back on its feet again soon. The Medical College was earlier owned by Nirmal Singh Bhangoo—main accused in Rs 45,000-crore Pearls group chit fund scam.
Classes at the college had been suspended in February last year due to the institution facing a serious financial crisis.
The new group’s first effort to put back the college into functional mode has asked the Punjab government for re-issuance of its essentiality certificate, required for setting up of a medical college. Lat May had seen the withdrawal of the earlier essentiality certificate to the college.
The state’s Medical Education and Research Minister, Brahm Mohindra told the TOI, “We are looking into the representation submitted by the new medical college management. We will issue the essentiality certificate only after being satisfied with the fulfillment of all laid down criteria.”
According to the Minister renewal permission from the government to restart suspended classes would only happen once the Medical Council of India has conducted an inspection as is the case in any college being granted permission to run classes.
One of the new Trust members, Harnam Singh, in conversation with the TOI revealed, “In the Trust deed signed on April 11, the JSB group—which is into automobile business—has taken over Rs 200 crore liabilities from the Bhangoo family.”
Commenting on the pending staff salary position, he said the total pending salaries of about 500 teaching staff members, doctors, paramedical and other staff amounted to less than Rs 10 crore, and the new owners of the institution were in the process of clearing it by June.
“We have till date disbursed around Rs 85 lakh pending salaries of four months to the other staff through demand draft, except for doctors,” he added. Rs 1.15 crore had been deposited in the Punjab National Bank as a security deposit he further stated.
If the new trust is returned the earlier essentiality certificate, its earlier affiliations will continue. Similarly, if required permissions to the college are granted on time both by the MCI and other authorities, medical courses could be in place from the next academic session, emphasized Harnam.
One of the old staff members and Dean of the institute Dr. A S Sekhon, has agreed to continue with the medical college under the new management.
“The new Trust members approached some of the old staff members, including me, and we said we are interested in the revival of the medical institute.” He told TOI. He spoke of the new management to have paid the old pending power bill of Rs 98 lakh and also to have applied for a new power connection.
Out of the total loss suffered by the medical college, around Rs 50 crore has been lost to vandalization and theft of hospital equipment on the hospital premises, stated Dr Sekhon.
Before closure of the medical college was announced, it was imparting medical education to 500 MBBS students and another 1,000 students in the dental, nursing and physiotherapy streams. The MCI had in June last year permitted the shift of medical students to other medical colleges in Punjab. The medical college is attached to a 600-bedded hospital with 10 super-specialty departments. Protests against non payment of salaries had intensified in April last year with Faculty and other staff, including security intensifying their protests. Their salaries had been pending since October 2016.