PG seat enhancement at SKIMS uncertain

GoI Announces Last Date For Permissions; GMC Srinagar ‘Expecting’ Permission For Increase Of 25 Seats Next Week

ZEHRU NISSA
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 24 2018 1:05AM | Updated Date: Feb 24 2018 1:05AM
PG seat enhancement at SKIMS uncertainRepresentational Pic

In a setback to health and medical education in Kashmir, only 25 MD/MS seats might be enhanced in Kashmir this year.

This became evident after the union health ministry announced last date for issuing permission to medical institutions for seat increase while SKIMS, Soura, is yet to make any progress on its proposal for seat increase.

On Thursday, the ministry issued a public notice as a warning to medical colleges that had not completed the requisite documentation for issuance of the letter of permission (LoP) for increase in the number of postgraduate seats.

“Since the ministry has to adhere to the timeline for issuing LoPs by 28.02.2018, all the applicant college(s) are directed to furnish necessary bank guarantees/undertaking by tomorrow (23.02.2018). Ministry will not be responsible if the documents are received after the given date,” said the notice.

However, although a major seat increase was expected in SKIMS, the chance to get the approval might be lost due to “technical hitches”.

The institute is yet to get the previously increased seats recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI), pending which, no further seat increase will be allowed by the regulatory body.

Director SKIMS Dr Omar Javed Shah said that MD/MS seat enhancement looked “very difficult” until previously allotted additional MD/MS seats are recognised.

He said the MCI was expected to visit in August for recognising the seats increased in 2015, and later for seats increased after 2015.

“We are working on fulfilling the requisite infrastructure and other requirements to ensure that PG students who have invested three years of their careers at the SKIMS do not suffer,” he said.

Regarding the proposal of 65-seat enhancement by the SKIMS, he said, “The matter has been taken up by the SKIMS management committee (headed by finance minister Haseeb Drabu) and state health ministry with the Union health ministry. The SKIMS is trying its best to address all requirements to facilitate for approval,” he said.

“My last information is that there have been requests from various sectors to the government of India to approve seats of J&K medical colleges as a special case,” he said.

An official at the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar said all requisite formalities for getting an enhancement of 25 seats had been completed but no communication had been received yet from union health ministry.

Principal GMC Srinagar Prof Samia Rashid said that letter of permission for the increased seats is expected in a week. 

“We had a video conference with them (union health ministry) on Tuesday regarding our proposal for increase of seats. They have said they will have a meeting this week and get back to us,” she said.

On 22 February, the Union health ministry directed GMC Srinagar to submit guarantee/undertaking for its proposal of MD pathology seats increase from two to six.

As per the seat matrix announced by J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) 394 MD/MS seats are available in state’s medical colleges.

A delegation of MD/MS aspirants told Greater Kashmir that the loss of opportunity for seat increase was detrimental to their careers.

“Had our health department acted on time many more meritorious students could have had an opportunity for admission to PG seats,” the delegation members said.

In the past two weeks, LoPs have been issued to various medical colleges across India. On Thursday, MoHFW approved 165 seats in 19 medical colleges of India.

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