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LARKANA: The Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) has received another blow as the Bibi Aseefa Dental College, the second constituent college of the university, faces penal action by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) within a span of a month.

The PMDC has withdrawn recognition letter of the dental college while the council has already stopped the Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College, Sukkur, another constituent college of the SMBBMU, from admissions to the new session.

Prof Ghulam Asghar Channa, vice chancellor of SMBBMU, told Dawn on Friday that PMDC withdrew its letter of recognition issued on Aug 28, which amounted to de-recognition of the institute. “We are worried the PMDC has withdrawn the letter without mentioning any reason,” he said.

PMDC registrar retired Brig Dr Hafizuddin Ahmed Siddiqui wrote the letter to the director general of the federal ministry of health services, regulation and coordination on Oct 3, which said: “I am directed to inform you that in exercise of powers conferred under section 7 of PMDC (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 the management committee has decided that the letter issued on Aug 28 stands withdrawn till further orders.”

The copy of the letter was forwarded to the VC of SMBBMU and the principal of Bibi Aseefa Dental College which was received on Oct 8, said sources.

The VC said referring to the letter that the dental college was re-inspected on Dec 15, 2014, and the inspection team had recommended the college for 50 BDS students per year.

The council’s executive committee in its meeting held on Dec 4, 2014, had approved recommendations of the inspection team and decided to recommend the institution for recognition to the council, he said.

The letter said the council executive committee in its meeting on June 18 this year pursued the recommendations of the inspection team and decided to recommend to the federal government that the institution be granted recognition and allowed to train 50 BDS students annually and the name of the institution be entered in the fifth schedule of PMDC Ordinance by a notification in the official gazette.

The VC said that once the institution was recommended for entering its name in fifth schedule of PMDC, it meant it had been recognised and needed only issuance of a notification to effect the recognition.

Asked would the letter have any impact on new admissions in the dental college, the VC replied in negative saying the letter did not mention anywhere about ‘stopping admissions’ to 2015-16 session.

A source in the university disclosed that prospectus for admissions to session 2015-16 in the constituent colleges of SMBBMU would be available at the banks concerned on Monday (Oct 12).

The media coordinator of SMBBMU, Abdul Samad Bhatti, said in a statement e-mailed to Dawn that presently 200 students of four batches were studying in the dental college.

The university received the letter when Sindh government had already announced admission schedule. Forms would be available from Oct 12 to 30 and entry test would be held on Nov 22, he said.

Earlier, the PMDC had, through a letter dated Sept 3, asked principal of the GMMMC to stop admissions to the session 2015-16 till the ‘deficiencies’ were overcome.

Talking to Dawn, Prof Haresh, principal of GMMMC, said the ‘deficiencies’ would hopefully be overcome and the college write to the PMDC on Oct 16 requesting for re-inspection.

He hoped that by then the faculty issue would be resolved and he would meet Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Saturday to apprise him of the situation.

Asked would the college offer admission forms to candidates despite PMDC direction to stop admission, Prof Haresh said: “We will not stop the process.”

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2015

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