Punjab: The state government at the moment seems to be in a hurry to upgrade the SGPC-run Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences & Research (SGRDIMSR), Amritsar, into to a medical university. It is evident from the fact that the institute currently has no quality publication to its credit in the last one year.
Some sources in the Department of Medical Education and Research have implied that the government wants to table the bill to upgrade the institute in the ongoing budget session, and for that it has directed the department officials to complete the formalities at the earliest.
As reported by Tribune, in terms of quality of medical research, the performance of the institute is reportedly poor. Scopus, one of the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, shows 18 contributions from the institute last year. Even in the majority of these works, the research was carried out somewhere else and the faculty members from the institute were just co-authors.
Of 18 publications, only three appeared in reputed journals, which had some impact. Among the three, one was just a medical case study, two had main authors from other institutes.
Pub Med, another search engine of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics, which shows some quality research, shows only eight contributions from the institute in one year. Most of these fall either in category of case studies or short communications.
However, Dr Geeta Sharma, college principal, has implied in her statement some good publications have been produced at the institute which is as per the parameters prescribed by MCI.
On the ground, the government is reported to have appointed an inspection committee constituting of members including the Principal Secretary, Higher Education; Secretary, Medical Education, Hussan Lal; Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Dr Raj Bahadur; head, Oral Health Sciences, PGIMER, Dr Krishan Gaba; and Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar