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PSU denies information on pact allowing it to collect deposits from medical applicants | India News

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Hundreds of crore rupees are collected each year as a security deposit from applicants who apply for the all-India quota positions at MBBS and postgraduate medical specialties by the public sector company HLL Lifecare Ltd, according to a agreement with the medical advisory committee (MCC). . However, in response to RTI requests, HLL Lifecare refused to disclose the terms of the agreement citing its confidentiality clause.
However, the chief information commissioner (CIC) has ruled that the information sought “serves a broader public interest, in particular aspiring medical students, and as such is linked to public health in general.”
Every academic year, MCC conducts admissions counseling to UG (MBBS / BDS) and PG (MD / MS / MDS) medicine courses for vacancies in all India quota and considered universities. To participate in the counseling, MCC stipulates a security deposit: Rs 10,000 for General Candidates and Rs 5,000 for Reserved Category Candidates for All India Quota Positions and Rs 2 Lakhs for all Candidates for University Positions considered. Every year almost 1.2 lakh of students participate in UG counseling.
For PG seats, the security deposit is 25,000 rupees for general category candidates, 10,000 rupees for reserved ones, and 2 lakh rupees for considered university positions. Approximately 50,000 sign up for advice from PG.
Since MCC does not have a bank account to collect or deposit this money, HLL Lifecare collects it and reimburses it after admissions are complete. HLL Lifecare retains nearly Rs 600 million collected as a security deposit from candidates for about six months or more before being reimbursed. But the interest, which would amount to millions of rupees, is not transferred to the candidates.
Dr. Mohammed Kader Meeran submitted an RTI request in September 2018 seeking details of the agreement under which HLL collects the money. The MCC, dependent on the General Directorate of Health Services of the Ministry of Health, claimed not to have knowledge of the money deposited in HLL and directed all inquiries regarding the candidates to HLL Lifecare, called “the financial custodian” by the MCC.
HLL Lifecare said an agreement to provide support services was signed between the president of MCC and HLL in January 2018. HLL stated that the agreement “stipulated that HLL would maintain all information, materials, instructions, communications, terms and conditions of the contract. as strictly confidential and The breach of this clause by HLL will be interpreted as a substantial breach “whereby the president of the MCC may rescind the agreement.
Dr. Meeran appealed against the response given by the HLL PIO and followed it up to the CIC office for the past two years. The CIC YK Sinha order of January 6 stated that the commission was not convinced by HLL’s argument to deny the disclosure of information and decided to implement the PIOs of the MCC and the Ministry of Health.
There was no response from the Ministry of Health to TOI’s inquiries. In response to multiple inquiries, including one about how much interest was earned on the candidates’ security deposit and to which authority HLL transferred this money, Dr. Unnikrishnan from HLL said the information was ready but could not be shared as it was not there was authorization from the MCC to do so.

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