SAHIWAL: Students of the Sahiwal Medical College (SMC) continued their protest for the sixth consecutive day against non-recognition of their college from Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

The students boycotted classes and staged a sit-in first at the college gate and later at College Chowk. The chowk and DPS Road were blocked for traffic for three hours.

The students shouted slogans against the chief minister, Punjab government, health secretary and the PMDC for not recognising a college whose students had topped in Punjab during the recently announced MBBS final year exam of 2015. Some students were carrying banners inscribed with slogans against the chief minister.

Shout slogans against CM, Punjab govt, health secretary

“The college which took the first position in Punjab is not being recognised by PMDC for three years,” the protesters told Dawn.

The students demanded the CM press PMDC to award the university provisional recognition status.

The college achieved 190 points in PMDC’s previous evaluation in November 2015 and needed 30 points to get recognition status.

SMC Associate Professor Dr Karim Sherazi said the main reason for missing out on 30 points was that “five senior professors who were transferred to the college by the health secretary in November 2015 had not joined yet”.

The students demanded the college be recognised otherwise their academic future would be ruined. They had dug graves in the premises where they sat daily.

Commissioner Azmat Mahmood had written three letters to the health and implementation and coordination secretaries and the chief secretary in favour of the students’ demand.

Additional Commissioner Tariq said Health Secretary Najam Shah had been requested to negotiate with the PMDC management for awarding provisional recognition to the college.

A senior professor said the Punjab government had planned to post nine new professors at SMC. College sources confirmed to Dawn the principal had not received any order yet.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2016