Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 30:
The Odisha cabinet today approved a plan for revival of the problem-ridden Sardar Rajas Medical College at Jaring in Kalahandi district.
The memorandum signed with Selvam Educational and Charitable Trust for setting up of the medical college in public-private partnership (PPP) mode back in 2004 will be scrapped and a fresh one signed with a new company for revival of the institution, chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati said briefing media persons after the cabinet meeting.
Existing students of the medical college would be relocated to private medical colleges in Bhubaneswar, he added.
The future of Sardar Rajas Medical College at Jaring is at stake with the Medical Council of India (MCI) declining approval/permission on the ground that the college lacks necessary infrastructure.
After the MCI denied permission to the college, the fate of 124 students who had taken admissions at the college as well as that of the 300-bed hospital attached to it was pushed into uncertainty.
All political parties in Kalahandi district had extended their support to a 48-hour bandh called by Kalahandi Medical College Kriyanusthan Committee demanding government takeover of Sardar Rajas Medical College in August this year. The Odisha Assembly too had witnessed an emotionally charged, heated debate on the issue.
On April 1, 2004, a MoU was signed between Selvam Educational and Charitable Trust and the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) to set up the medical college and hospital on PPP mode.
The Selvam Educational and Charitable Trust was given Rs 10 crore by the WODC to set up the medical college. The state government had provided 25 acres of land free to the Trust to set up the medical college.
The cabinet also approved the Food and Procurement policy under which the system of online payment for paddy procured during the kharif season would be extended to 160 blocks in the state, Pati said.
As per an amendment to the Odisha Electricity Duty Act, 1961 approved at the cabinet meeting today, power generators of up to 50 KV would now be exempt from tax. The waiver was restricted to generators of up to 10 kv earlier.
Electricity duty for domestic consumers has been raised from 4 to 5 percent, while duty has also been hiked by one percent for industry. Duty on captive power plants has been raised by 30 paise per unit, the chief secretary revealed.
The cabinet also gave its thumbs up to a proposal to put cadres of teachers of schools meant for tribals at par with that of teachers of schools run by the School and Mass Education department.