George Paul Clarifies - Stand of Inter Church Council
- Dear Mr. George Panicker & Members of the Malankara Orthodox Church,
I being the spokesperson of the Christian Medical College Management Federation,
I have the obligation to respond to the scathing remarks made by you in the icon
digest No. 4243.
Your Question : Who is this inter church council ?
Answer: Your doubt must be with reference to the stand taken by Christian
Medical college Management Federation of which Kolenchery Medical College is a
member. The 4 colleges under the Federation do not conduct a separate entrance
test. We only admit students from the Merit list of the Govt. Entrance Test.
All admissions are online. 50% seats are reserved for Christians. 5% is reserved
for SC/ST & 30% open merit. There is no "management quota". The admission
process is totally transparent.
Coming to the issue of fees - How much is the Govt. spending for each medical
student in the Govt. College ?
It is Rs. 5 lakhs plus/year. This is subsidized by the Govt ( using the
taxpayer's money ) so that the student pays Rs 20,000/year, if he is on the
merit list, irrespective of if he can afford the real fees or not. The majority
of the children who make it to the merit list are from affluent families who go
for entrance coaching paying very high fees! Where is the social justice in
subsidizing the rich?
In the 4 colleges under the X'ian Federation, it is uniform realistic fees Rs
3.5 lakhs/year. 15% of the total seats are reserved for NRIs where Supreme Court
has allowed higher fees. The surplus generated therein is entirely utilized for
subsidizing the economically weaker students( 10%) irrespective of his caste or
creed who have merit. The Hon. Supreme Court has banned cross subsidy i.e.
collecting huge amount of capitation fee ( which is possible only if merit is
diluted by a separate entrance exam) from 50% of students in the "management
quota" to subsidize the other 50%. This is the procedure followed by the
colleges who signed the "Agreement" with the previous LDF Govt. So, if the
present UDF Govt. also wants to sacrifice the rule of law under the pretext of
social justice, then they have to declare that as their policy, and allow
capitation & black money in education. Govt. wants its citizens to obey the law
where it is convenient & close their eyes when inconvenient. This is the reason
why we've been wrongly branded as stubborn & unrelenting.
Now, I shall come to the long term solution to this issue. Educational subsidy
shall only be confined to the deserving poor, those who have the merit for the
medical admission. The 'Poor' is to be defined. If the percentage of poor
students are more than 10%, it will have to be generated through a scholarship
fund initiated by the Govt.. Managements have already offered affordable
amounts to this fund. Govt. can approach both Public and Private Sector
Corporates to fulfill their obligation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
by contributing to the scholarship fund. Benevolent people like Mr. George
Panicker could also contribute to this fund. Bank loans are also one of the
options for consideration. If the above proposal is not acceptable for any
reason Govt. could consider 2% Cess levied on liquor sales whereby the whole
issue can be resolved in one shot by raising Rs.120 Crores.
These proposals are under consideration before the Govt. We all can talk about
doing charity at somebody's cost, but we forget the fact that there is a huge
cost for running an excellent Medical School. Govt. has a different agenda, to
preserve the vote bank. All political parties want to ensure one or two seats in
all professional colleges through corruption and for that they encourage
capitation. Christian Managements are unable to budge to this injustice. In
2006, we were forced by the former Education Minister Sri. M.A baby to sign an
illegal agreement of 50:50 and the deficit caused as a consequence to the
agreement for the four colleges amounting to Rs.30 Crores, is still a terrific
financial strain for us. This agreement and the heavy financial burden thereby
caused,compelled us to take this honest route.
George Paul, Kochi
(Spokesperson, the Christian Medical College Management Federation)