Chandigarh: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered a high-level probe into the functioning of the three Skill Development Centres set up in the medical colleges of Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot, after he was informed that these facilities, set up at a whopping Rs 18 crores, were lying idle.
A three-member committee, headed by Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research, Sanjay Kumar, has been tasked with conducting a thorough enquiry into the functioning of these centres, said an official spokesperson. The others members of the committee are Secretary Skill Development Mission Bhawna Garg, and Director Research Medical Education Avnish Kumar.
The probe, aimed at ensuring accountability and improving efficiencies in medical training institutions, was necessitated by complaints that the facilities were lying vacant and there were no students, while the private companies to whom prime government land had been provided to run skill development centres were violating their contract conditions. PIMS had already invested Rs. 6 Crores each at GMC Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot for creation of infrastructure, Health Minister Brahm Mohindra earlier informed the Chief Minister at the 36th Governing Body Meeting of Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).
Chairing the meeting, Amarinder also accepted the suggestion for implementing NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) standards in all government medical colleges and hospitals in the state.
Chief Minister said the state government was duty-bound to provide students with quality medical education to facilitate their gainful employment and nobody would be allowed to jeopardize their future. Captain agreed that the PIMS and PMEC issues needed urgent redressal and said his government was committed to finding a viable solution. The government would further strengthen the mechanism to ensure quality skill education to medical students, he added.
On the issues of relaxation being sought by PIMS Medical & Education Charitable (PMEC) Society in the concession agreement, Chief Minister directed the steering committee to relook the issue in the light of fresh recommendations by the Vijay Kelkar Committee on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model before seeking a legal opinion.
He also referred the matter of refund of electricity charges by PMEC Society Jalandhar to the steering committee headed by the Chief Secretary.
In other decisions taken at the meeting, ex-post facto approval was given to the appointment of Dr. Vimal Sikri as Director of PIMS Society, besides confirmation of the minutes of the 35th Governing Body meeting, and ratification of proceedings of the 20th, 21st and 22nd steering committee meetings.
Prominent among others who attended the meeting were Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Special Secretary Finance T P S Phoolka, Deputy Commissioner Jalandhar Varinder Sharma, Director PIMS Vimal Sikri, Director Research Medical Education Avnish Kumar, and Member Governing Council PIMS S P S Grewal.