With an intent to reduce the pressure and the burden on the twin universities of the State, the Jammu University and the Kashmir University, as also in deference to the wishes of the Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, it was announced by no less an authority than the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that a full fledged Medical University would be established in the State.
This announcement made by her last year, was soothing to the ears of the people as well as the prospective students expecting a paradigm shift in the overall approach towards making the State registering itself among a few centres in the country imparting high standard medical education. The then Health and Medical Education Minister had stated that a high level committee had been constituted to hold deliberations on all the aspects relating to the establishment of the Medical University. The University is expected to cover 16 professional colleges and 113 para- medical institutes in the State and would be the fountainhead of providing associated ancillary employment opportunities too. Government Medical Colleges at Srinagar, Jammu, Bemina, SKIMS Srinagar, Government Dental Colleges of Jammu and Srinagar, ASCOMS Jammu, Ayurvedic Colleges, upcoming Medical Colleges at Rajouri, Doda, Kathua, Anantnag and Baramulla etc are the prominent medical institutions which would come under the overall auspice of the proposed Medical University.
However, as is wont of the State of Jammu and Kashmir that announcements are made with wax eloquent narrative which receive applauds as also wide spread appreciation and consequently result in happiness, lasting but momentarily as very rarely are they translated into practice. How could, therefore, the proposal of setting up of the maiden Medical University remain aloof from such a “treatment”? Even the proposal for it is in the embryonal stage as neither the Finance Department nor the Planning Department has cleared the proposal. No deliberations even have taken place in this regard, in particular the key ones like the likely location of the proposed University.
Despite a lapse of over five long months , no progression or advancement of any form could seemingly take place due to lack of the required co-ordination and understanding between different departments like Health, Medical, Planning , Finance and other departments. However, the draft proposal cum bill is reported to have been cleared by the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs when the Legislature was in session but could not be introduced as Departments of Planning and Finance had not cleared it. Only these two departments are responsible for providing the financial support, so vital for setting up of a major project like the one under reference and their taciturnity is indicative of the real impediment coming in the way , that of the finances required. Had it not been so, then a provision for the same would have been made in the Budget of the current fiscal by the Finance Minister of the State.
Since this proposal, if given practical shape, was going to benefit all concerned in all the three regions of the State, political representatives cutting party affiliations initially whole heartedly supported the move but critically apprising, perhaps, did not show any subsequent cogent interest in monitoring of the project all these five months. Strings have to be pulled from all directions to ensure movement of the proposal to its logical culmination.
The requisite budgetary support must be given to the proposal, which is first of its nature in the State, undoubtedly indicative of an innovative bold step. Necessary follow up must be made seriously by the concerned departments and agencies so that the draft bill is presented in the State Legislature in the next session thus paving the way for setting up of the University within a reasonable span of time.