The Ajeenkya D Y Patil Medical College which is under construction at Turkeyen has failed to comply with the requirement that all commercial properties build one metre above the current elevation along Guyana’s coastline; this was put in place after the 2005 Great Flood that caused millions in damage and devastation.
Stabroek News was informed that the initial design of the college was flawed, but this was never addressed. The flood prevention construction initiatives were implemented to act as precautionary measures to reduce potential property damage and to control the spread of disease should flooding of that magnitude occur again.
This publication reached out to the construction division of Buddy’s Guyana, the contractors for the college. Stabroek News spoke briefly with the site manager, but was told that he would not be able to provide any answers to any inquiries at this time.
Because the college is private, there is no requirement for the contractor to publicly display any specifications. However, compliance with building codes is still mandatory.
Stabroek News has on occasion visited the site and was told that it was private property and asked to leave. Questions still remain as to when the land that the college is being constructed on at Turkeyen was sold to the local arm of the India-based D Y Patil Group.
In September 2014 the National Accreditation Council (NAC) of Guyana listed the Ajeenkya D Y Patil University at Turkeyen (Guyana) Inc as registered.
The listing is contained on the website of the NAC of the Ministry of Education at http://www.nac.gov.gy/. It is one of 29 institutions listed on the site. The listing will be seen as another anomaly in the manner in which state institutions are treating potential investors like the Indian university which has been seen as a favoured one with high government connections here.
Registration requires assessment of various areas including Legal, Policy and Regulatory Requirements, Governance and Administration, Quality Management System, Resource Management, Teaching – Learning Process, Review and Continuous Improvement. It is unclear how these assessments would have been done as the standards of the India-based facilities would not necessarily be replicated here.
The Ajeenkya D Y Patil University at Turkeyen (Guyana) Inc was officially incorporated by Rajendra Singh, former chairman of the GuySuCo Board and current CEO of the sugar corporation, in April of 2013.
Stabroek News was originally told by the Education Ministry that accreditation could take months, though proposed faculty members were already identified as well as a curriculum. However this was not done for the Ajeenkya D Y Patil University.
The Patil Group’s General Manager Dilip Kawad in a statement asserted that a first class medical college was needed in the Caribbean and that establishing an institution in Guyana was due to the company’s interest in building strong links with Guyana. Kawad was responding to questions posed by the Stabroek News.
The Group is not without controversy, as it was first revealed last year that a Memorandum of Understanding was quietly signed between the group and the Agriculture Ministry for the development of 65,000 hectares of land in the Canje Basin. Stabroek News was told on several occasions that the Agriculture Ministry had only signed on for an initial 10,000 acres or 4,046 hectares. This number has fluctuated which prompted questions concerning the accuracy of the information being disseminated.
The last reference prior, to the D Y Patil Group’s MoU came in the form of a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) on July 20, 2013 about Guyana’s potential as an agricultural investment hotspot for Middle East investors.