With just a day remaining in counselling for MBBS and BDS courses in Punjab, confusion prevails over whether or not the government will allow Sri Guru Ram Das Medical College (SGRDC), Amritsar, to convert all 75 government quota MBBS seats into management quota on account of its being a Sikh minority institute run by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Eligible candidates will appear for counselling at Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) on Monday.
The SGRDC has 150 seats: 75 in government quota and 75 in management/minority quota. The fee for minority/management quota is around Rs 40 lakh for the fiveyear course, which is four times the cost of a seat in the general government quota. On July 1, it announced to scrap government quota, and put all seats under management quota.
Officials from the state government discussed the issue at a meeting in Chandigarh on Friday evening, but no decision was announced. Dr Raj Bahadur, vice-chancellor of the BFUHS, had earlier said, “We can’t accept the proposed division of seats until the institute gets the approval of the ministry concerned.” Harjit Singh, director of public instructions (DPI), colleges, didn’t respond to the text messages and calls.
An education department official told HT on the condition of anonymity, “SGRDC will definitely get the status of a medical university sooner or later, but cannot charge fee as per its will. They (SGRDC) initially sought to charge Rs 62 lakh for MBBS! But the fee has to be as per the Punjab Private Health Sciences Educational Institutions Act, 2006. Though the official decision is yet to come, it may not be allowed to scrap its government quota this session.”
Parents have been seeking clarity. Naveen Sehgal from Bathinda said, “I am not sure if my child can seek a government quota seat in the SGRDC as they are claiming to have converted all the seats to management quota which are really expensive.”
Geeta Sharma, principal of the college, did not take calls.
PRESENT POSITION, AND POSSIBILITIES
If the SGRDC is allowed to scrap the government/general quota, those having no reservation or those who are not in the NRI quota will not get admission at the institute.
Already, 75 seats in the government quota had 12 seats reserved for NRIs. Of the 63 seats left, 25 are reserved for Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and physically handicapped candidates.