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Funds for infrastructure lapse twice as GMC Jammu fails to execute projects

Last Updated on April 11, 2021 at 7:27 pm

As officials who manage Health & Medical Education Department J&K showed flippant behaviour, around Rs 32.4 crore worth funds sanctioned by the Central Government for undertaking necessary infrastructure work for 10% EWS quota of MBBS seats in the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu has lapsed twice.

Sources informed that in 2019, National Medical Commission approved 30 MBBS seats each for Government Medical Colleges (GMCs), Jammu and Srinagar and 25 seats for Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar for the academic session 2019-20 for students who are beneficiary of 10% Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota.

As 30 more seats were added, total number of seats available in GMC Jammu reached 180. However, GMC can take admission for only 150 MBBS seats and not for additional 30 MBBS seats under EWS quota as of now. For making use of these additional 30 MBBS seats (under EWS quota), GMC Jammu will have to develop additional infrastructure according to the National Medical Council of India (NMC) norms.

According to the sources, GOI sanctioned Rs 32.4 crore to the institute for developing additional requirement of infrastructure, machinery and equipment so that minimum standards of NMC can be met. This amount was granted with 90% Central share on Jan 27, 2020 in order to meet required infrastructure demands timely for necessary grant of recognition of 30 MBBS seats (under EWS quota) before students pass final year. However, these funds lapsed since covid pandemic took over and infrastructure project could not be executed.

Sources said that Principal of GMC Jammu again received funds from Health and Medical Education Department for developing necessary infrastructure development works under EWS quota. She was asked to initiate important infrastructure-related works like constructing 2 additional lecture halls, one auditorium and cafeteria including parking, one examination hall, store lifts and ramps at CD Hospital, construction of additional floor of Central Library at GMC Jammu, and construction of boys hostel, girls hostel and proposed Nursing Hostel at GMC Jammu.

Sources alleged that the incumbent Principal of GMC Jammu approved sanctioning of these funds to Chief Engineer PW(R&B) Department, Jammu very late on 23 March 2021, which is just seven days before starting of next financial year. Principal of GMC Jammu asked the executive agency to produce Funds Utilization Certificate positively before 31 March 2021 for further submission to the Government of India, which was not possible considering lack of time and funds again lapsed as a result.

Any inspection team from NMC did not come to GMC Jammu last year because of covid but this could not be the case this time. A team from NMC can any time visit the institution to check whether required infrastructure is available or not. As infrastructure work is not completed for two consecutive years, the team can also cancel EWS quota for GMC Jammu forever.