With the changed economic trends the Govts of the day no longer possess the will to run and professionally administer the educational institutions much less medical colleges, when they can't manage even their police forces. Grand success of privatisation of telephone system, warrants,  better the sooner the Govt washes its hands off from the service sector. In Amritsar we have another example of excellent performance of a privatised bus stand. It is for this reason that once a prestigious institution of the country, Govt Medical College Amritsar is on a grave  decline. Guru Ramdas Medical College and Hospital run by the religious and philanthropic   organisation the SGPC is a noble idea with enormous potential provided it is kept free from shabby politics of the Akali order. If the institution is to emerge on country's map the best course for it is that its control be passed on to a committee of professionals enjoying  administrative autonomy.
#When in the year 1996 the Sikh apex body SGPC decided to start a medical college the Sikhs in general and medicos in particular were enthralled. High hopes were pinned on the project and some even dreamed that it would make one of the premier medical centre in India where advanced medical care, education and research would be pursued. The aspirants believed since there is no dearth of funds in SGPC, its medical college would soon be a name in the field of medical research.
Though the  Guru had centuries ago given the democratic concept (of sangat, gurmata the 'panch pardani' etc chosen beloved five,)   but unfortunately authoritarianism has become the order of the day with the Sikhs leaders. Otherwise it was but natural for the panth or SGPC to constitute a committee of medical professionals to run the hospitals and medical colleges. But unfortunately the 'panch pardani' concept suffered a set back right from the inception of medical institution. The then SGPC head Jathedar Tohra instead of forming an assembly of prominent medical  experts to guide and administer the institution of a technical nature started relying on one particular individual. His successor Bibi Jagir Kaur rather behaved more like a jagirdar (feudal) while managing medical institution during her stint as head of SGPC and surpassed Tohra in promoting sycophancy in Sikh institutions.
The entire concept suffered setback at its birth  when its shortsighted founders laid the foundation of medical college at a distance of 12 kms. from the parent hospital while the 'Dental College was already two kilometre away. The IMC was initially reluctant to give affiliation to the college but a sustained pursuit did it. It is a known principle that when the sycophant kind of people come in control of institutions they develop dictatorial tendencies and that is what was experienced at the college and hospital recently.
You go to the hospital and if you are a writer the staff would tell tales of dictatorial behaviour of the administrators. Some of the tales found their way as laughing stock to print and electronic media.
Can any body believe that the principle would himself cause a loss of Rs. 1897500 to the institution by keeping the three medical seats vacant when the people are dying to get admissions in MBBS course? Obviously when sycophancy was the criterion a principal can spend Rs. 9 lac on litigation just to defend personal revengefulness.
In yet another litigation the principle secretly advised institution counsel in Supreme Court not to pursue a litigation where the opposite party was a senior IAS officer and thus causing  a loss of Rs. 35 lacs to the institution.
According to principles of personnel management if one is to sabotage an institution he would make its employees disinterested in it and that was what was happening there in the institution  till recently.
What to talk of staff there were senior doctors whose promotions were being withheld for years together. Doctor R.K.Arora's is a classic case where promotion was denied to him for 8 long years. Dr. Bhupinder Singh, Dr. Uppal, Dr. Saini, Dr. Aggarwal Dr. Manjot Kaur et al were all denied promotions. Besides the medicos are sour that the earlier principal sold their prestige in the hands of petty politicians. There is an overall sense of relief after the removal of the principal who had pursued policy of a 'semi literate thanedar'.
After the removal of this arrogant principal a healthy work-like atmosphere is developing.  But people wonder how long will it last? Because mentality of the politician is same who is to appoint the new one.  We learn of the path of   progress the institution is stepping into. Over delayed  OPD  at Vallah has been started. It is being said that it is for the first time that a fair and transparent entrance test has been successfully conducted and the principles have not been compromised before the political pressures.  The credit for this goes to the new principal Dr. S.S.Walia who has also been able to get PG classes for the faculties of surgery, medicine and anesthesia sanctioned from university/IMC. It is being complained that these had become over due and hanging for principal's disinterest.
Another notable achievement of the management is to bring into its fold a prominent surgeon in the Guru Ram Das Hospital and College. This is Dr. Davinder Singh Sandhu a pioneer to perform bone marrow transplant (BMT) in north of India beyond Delhi. But more important is that this eminent doctor has joined the institution as a secretary of the institution which means that perhaps the management is thinking of instilling the spirit of professionalism in the institution. We talked to this cancer super specialist and found that this energetic young man possesses the necessary skill, drive and initiative to move this college along the line of top medical colleges of India like the AIIMS and Manipal. He has dreams but will the politicians let them translate into reality?  We are not very hopeful that he will be able to survive as an honest secretary when he will be pulling up the defaulter politicians who owe to college in lacs.
With the appointment of these two sincere and deserving medicos as principal and secretary we think perhaps Mr. Badal is serious towards this institution which has potential of becoming the another AIIMS provided an environment is provided. But in any case there is a silver lining because the institution is named after Guru Ram Das whose foundation the city of Amritsar is flourishing.Ð(by Rajwinder Singh Chimni)

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