ANANTNAG: The commencement of MBBS course at the proposed new medical college in Anantnag is likely to be deferred by another year as staff for the college is yet to be recruited, buildings are incomplete and required equipment is not in place.
With all these hindrances, the Health and Medical Education (M&HE) Department of Kashmir is not in a position to invite the Medical Council of India (MCI) for an on-spot inspection to get a subsequent nod for the commencement of classes.
The MCI had in fact written to the M&HE department for a proposed on ground inspection in September, earlier this year.
“For that, the MCI had sought Standard Declaration Forms (SDFs) from the faculty of the college,” sources in the M&HE Department told Kashmir Reader. “But we had only two employees recruited for the college, the Principal and a statistical assistant, out of a total of 670.”
The sources said that the department sought deferment of the inspection by two months so that recruitment for the college could be made and the mandatory SDFs produced.
“However, around three months down the line, only two additions – an accounts officer and a planning officer – have been made to the overall staff of the college,” the sources said. “So we are still not ready for the inspection.”
The recruitment process had been entrusted to the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the SSRB.
PSC officials say the interviews were going on and some recruitment has already been made.
“We expect and hope that the process is completed by mid-December or in the next two months at the most,” said the Secretary of the PSC, Rajesh Sharma.
The SSRB, on the other hand, has sought two years to complete the process.
“We have intimated them to speed up the process,” the Anantnag college’s Principal, Dr Showkat Jeelani, said.
Asked if classes were going to commence in the coming session, Jeelani expressed hope that they would, “given that the recruitment process is hastened by the concerned departments”.
“There are other issues as well but they are smaller issues and can be handled while the classes are going on. The basic issue is the recruitment process,” he said.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that the college has 670 sanctioned posts, including 300 medical and the rest paramedical and other staff.
“We need 160 nurses out of which 15 odd posts have been created so far. When will be the posts created and when will the recruitment be carried out?” a concerned official at the M&HE department asked.
The other issues hindering the progress of the college are the non-completion of its structures and the acquiring of lab equipment necessary for MBBS first year.
“We have been regularly communicating with the JKPCC officials and we have been assured that the buildings will be handed over by December 2019,” Jeelani said.
He added that the acquisition of the lab equipment was not a major hindrance, “but the thing is that it needs to be acquired before classes are commenced, and there has been no headway on that as well.”
The Anantnag Medical College and four others in the state were sanctioned in 2014 by the then Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Amid much fanfare, a foundation stone for the college was laid by the Union Health Minister, J P Nadda, and the then Chief Minister of the state, Mehbooba Mufti, on May 15, 2016.