Funds under 10% EWS quota lapsed twice by GMC Jammu, mandatory infra work yet to start

Release delayed by Admn Deptt

Govind Sharma

JAMMU, Apr 10: Due to absolute non-seriousness on the part of those at the helm of affairs in Health & Medical Education Department J&K, funds to the tune of Rs 32.4 crore received from Government of India for initiating mandatory infrastructure work under 10% EWS quota of MBBS seats lapsed twice in the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu.
Official sources told Excelsior that National Medical Commission had approved and allotted on 21st June, 2019, 30 MBBS seats each to Government Medical Colleges (GMCs), Jammu and Srinagar and 25 seats to Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar for the academic session 2019-20 under 10% Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota.
With 30 additional seats, the total MBBS seats in GMC Jammu reached 180. However, out of these, only 150 MBBS seats are recognized and the additional 30 MBBS seats under EWS quota still await recognition. For getting grant of recognition of 30 MBBS seats (under EWS quota), GMC Jammu had to raise additional infrastructure as per National Medical Council of India (NMC) norms.
Sources said that to meet additional requirement of infrastructure, machinery and equipment proposal to match the minimum standards of NMC, GMC Jammu was granted Rs 32.4 crore by Government of India (under 90% Central share) on Jan 27, 2020 so that the required infrastructure work can be completed timely for necessary grant of recognition of 30 MBBS seats (under EWS quota) before the candidate pass final year.
“Subsequently, Government of Jammu and Kashmir without wasting any time, realizing the importance of the said project linked with the career of 30 MBBS seats per batch, immediately released the funds to the then Principal GMC, Jammu on 07-02-2020, with the directions that infrastructure as per the approved proposal and purchase of necessary machinery and equipment be immediately started following all the codal formalities,” sources said.
They said this was the period when Corona started last year and due to lockdown no work could be started due to nearly three to four months. The then administration of GMC kept dealing with COVID management as priority and the money lapsed in the last financial year, they added.
Sources said this year also, the Health and Medical Education Department released the funds to the tune of Rs 32.4 crore to the Principal GMC Jammu for raising required infrastructure development works under EWS quota with the direction to start immediately the important infrastructure related works like construction of 2 additional lecture halls, one examination hall, one auditorium and cafeteria including parking, 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.
“However, the Incumbent Principal GMC Jammu accorded sanction to the release of funds in the favour of Chief Engineer PW(R&B) Department, Jammu for its further placement at the disposal of Executive Engineer, PWD (R&B), Tawi Bridge cum Medical College Jammu Division, very late on March 23, 2021, just seven days before closure of financial year 2020-21,” sources regretted.
They said in her order dated 23-03-2021, Principal GMC Jammu asked the executive agency to furnish Funds Utilization Certificate positively before 31-03-2021 for onward submission to Government of India, which was impossible and thus, the funds lapsed.
Sources said that due to COVID pandemic last year, no inspection team from NMC came to GMC Jammu but it is expected that any time, team from NMC can visit to monitor the requisite infrastructure and in light of non-start of work for two consecutive years, the team can cancel the EWS quota for GMC Jammu for ever.
When contacted, Principal GMC Jammu Dr Shashi Sudhan Sharma said that her office received the funds from the administrative department just a week before she sanctioned the funds in the favour of Chief Engineer PW(R&B) Department, Jammu. She said as of now their priority is COVID management as the 2nd wave of pandemic could be more dangerous.