Kerala

Demand to bring Palakkad medical college under DME

For whose welfare?The Medical College at Yakkara in Palakkad, established making use of Rs.800 crore from the special component plan fund for SC/ST welfare, is now run by a charitable trust under the Cooperative Department.— Photo: K.K. Mustafah  

With the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government deciding to review the Haripad medical college project proposed by the previous Oommen Chandy regime in the public-private partnership mode, the demand for bringing the Government Medical College at Yakkara here under the control of the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) has gained momentum.

The college started by the United Democratic Front government under the Department for Welfare of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Schedule Tribes (STs) by terming it a pioneering effort to give more educational opportunities for the SCs and STs was later brought under the administrative control of a charitable society formed under the Cooperative Department.

The way in which the medical college is operated has drawn the wrath of organisations representing Dalits and the tribespeople as the targeted communities failed to gain any educational or health benefits from the institution established making use of Rs.800 crore from the special component plan fund for SC/ST welfare.

Appointment

Moreover, recruitment of 174 employees to the college by violating reservation norms by the charitable trust has invited criticism. A Cabinet subcommittee is now reviewing the decision of one of the last Cabinet meetings of the Oommen Chandy government to regularise the appointments.

The election manifesto of the LDF promised that the medical college would be brought under the direct control of the Medical Education Directorate apart from setting up a super-specialty hospital close to it for practical studies and to extend treatment benefits to the local community. Sources in the SC/ST Department indicate that the government would take a decision on the future of the medical college within two weeks.

The department is planning to depute a senior officer to study the alleged irregularities by the charitable society in the establishment and running of the college.

“The UDF government tried to bring the medical college under public-private partnership. In the past two years, salaries and other expenses of the institution were met in the past two years from the corpus fund in the absence of sufficient budgetary allocations,” points out S. Ajayakumar, former MP and vice president of the Kerala Pattikajathi Kshema Samithy.

Fund diverted

During the last fiscal, the department’s corpus fund to the tune of Rs.1 crore was diverted for the medical college without disbursing it among the SC students in the district.




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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 11:04:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Demand-to-bring-Palakkad-medical-college-under-DME/article14389390.ece

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