Chandigarh: Former MBBS students of the shut Chintpurni Medical College; continue to face setbacks on the educational front.
According to recent media accounts, the results of 75 MBBS students, who were shifted to three Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) after the controversial shutdown of Chintpurni Medical College; have been withheld by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) with which the GMCs are affiliated. The university apparently took this step due to non-payment of annual fees.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the shutdown of the Chintpurni Medical College after it was found that the college was admitting students without the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) approval ever since its inception in 2011. In addition, the college did not have the necessary infrastructure and did not provide adequate facilities for the purpose of medical studies.
After its shutdown, 249 MBBS students had been shifted to the GMCs in Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot. The students had deposited an annual fee of Rs 28,350 at the existing rate under government quota at that time. However, the affiliated university, BFUHS demanded payment as per the fee structure of government quota in private medical colleges, which was around Rs 1.25 lakh per annum.
It has been reported that BFUHS had held back their roll numbers for delay in depositing the fee as required. In response, the parents of affected MBBS students moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court which ordered a stay and directed the university to allow the MBBS students to take their examinations after depositing Rs 28,350.
Two months ago, 18 students of Faridkot Medical College, 30 from Amritsar institute and 27 of Patiala Medical college refused to pay Rs 3.22 lakh fee. They claimed that they would only pay fee as applicable for government students, not the government quota fee of private colleges.
All the MBBS students were allowed to take their final exam but while publishing the result of Final Prof Part-II on March 28, the BFUHS withheld the result of these 75 students for non-payment of annual tuition fee.
The university on March 29 issued a notification asking the MBBS students to deposit the fee of Rs 3.32 lakh in order to continue with their internship.
With this action by the university authorities, the MBBS students were struck with a major dilemma since with no results they will not be able to join their mandatory rotatory internship commencing from April 1 i.e. today.
The matter is sub judice ever since these students were shifted to the GMCs.
Medicos cry foul
The medicos and their parents have alleged that the HC has already directed the colleges to stick to the fee as per the government quota seat, which is Rs 28,350 until a final decision was taken.
While, the affected students and their parents are claiming that last year, the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) had directed the medical colleges to take annual fees as applicable for government students; the university kept on maintaining that the letter was issued mistakenly and it was annulled by the department on March 6.
Speaking on the issue, Dr Raj Bahadur, Vice Chancellor, BFUHS, told Tribune, “In the notification for the shifting of 98 students in September 2017, it was clearly mentioned that as the private medical colleges had refused to admit these students at government fee, they would pay government quota seat fee of private colleges, to which they had agreed.”
On the notification issued by the university, a father of an MBBS student, informed TOI that the notice asked them to deposit the remaining amount of Rs 3.32 lakh (with penalties) or else their wards will not get their final results and they will not able to join their mandatory internship starting on April 1.
A student of GMC, Patiala, said, “Ever since we were shifted from Chintpurni to GMC, we have been facing problems. Till date, the CMCH has not given our detailed mark sheets. Now when we are about to begin internship, we have been asked to pay lakhs of rupees within two weeks.”
Meanwhile, a day later the university withheld the result of 75 MBBS students, the affected doctors, along with their family members, approached the Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra, who had earlier refused to comment on the matter citing that the matter is pending in court.
A recent report by Tribune states that after an hour of deliberations between the medicos and the Minister, the students agreed to pay Rs 2.20 lakh instead of Rs 3.20 lakh as claimed by the BFHUS.
“I have cross-checked with my health officials, including the Additional Health Secretary and BHFUS Vice-Chancellor, who confirmed the said understanding over fee,” the minister stated assuring that he had directed the Health Secretary and the VC to declare their result and start their internship from April 1 only.
The MBBS students explained that if the mandated internship failed to start from April 1, it would not be completed by March 31, which might affect their chances to appear for the next year’s PG entrance exam.