Punjab cabinet approves filing 153 vacant direct quota posts in medical colleges, extends reservation in allotment of houses to kin of riot victims

Chandigarh: For strengthening the state’s healthcare system, the Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday approved filling up of 153 vacant sanctioned direct quota posts of 42 professors, 46 associate professors and 65 assistant professors in the Government Medical Colleges at Amritsar and Patiala.

In another major decision, the cabinet decided to extend 5 per cent reservation in allotment of houses or plots to riot or terror attack victims.

The vacancies would be filled up by the departmental selection committee headed by former Director PGIMER, Chandigarh KK Talwar. This will be done under the Punjab Medical Education (Group-A) Service Rules, 2016 after taking these posts out of the purview of the Punjab Public Service Commission.

According to an official spokesperson, the selection committee which was constituted on April 22, 2016, under the chairmanship of Advisor to Health and Medical Education, Punjab, KK Talwar, has now been allowed to continue for another three years, with effect from April 22, 2019.

The panel’s strength has also been increased. Earlier, the selection committee had seven members, in addition to the Chairman, including Vice Chancellor Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Secretary Medical Education and Research, Director PGIMER or his representative, Director Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai or his representative (for treatment of cancer
related specialties only) and two members of concerned subject of institutions like AIIMS/PGIMER/TMC.

Apart from these, Director Research and Medical Education Punjab was the member secretary of the committee. Now, a representative from the Department of Welfare Punjab has also included as a member, taking the committee’s strength to eight.

The entire staff strength was reviewed by the Talwar Committee, which proposed restructuring. A total of 46 direct quota posts were created, on account of proposed super-specialty departments, enhancement in MBBS seats and an increase in bed strength in two hospitals. Consequently, the Medical Education and Research was allowed to fill up these 153 posts by the Talwar Committee.

The Committee also recommended that since it was unlikely that all the posts would be filled up in one attempt, the Department of Medical Education and Research may, therefore, be allowed to make repeated attempts till these posts were filled up.

Meanwhile, the decision to extend reservation in allotment of houses to kin of riot victims, the cabinet said, would give relief to victims of the 1984 riots and terror attacks in Punjab.

A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the time limit of the existing policy, that had expired on December 31, 2016, had been extended till the end of December 2021.

The cabinet considered the demand of the Danga Peerat Committee, Barnala and Sangrur, in this regard, to take the significant decision in the interest of the victims of the riots and terrorist violence.