Chandigarh:The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Director’s appointment tale has taken a further twist with a senior professor at the institute ,writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming that ‘merit has been pushed to the corner’ by the selection committee and seniority being ignored in the selection process. This comes just a few days after the NCSC, , put the selection process on hold on receiving a complaint from a Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) body of PGI, alleging discrimination in the process against SC candidates.
The professor’s letter points out that seniority plays a big role in the day to day functioning of the institute and no administrative experience will have catastrophic effects. According to his letter, waylaying seniority and merit could act as ‘demoralizing factors.’
Indian Express has reported the professor, who is also an applicant as stating, “One of the candidate selected Dr Anil Bhansali, (PGIMER) is at number 32 and has faced a vigilance case against him. The other candidate, Dr Meenu Singh,(PGIMER) do not have required experience as stipulated in the advertisement for the said post and she is at No.57 in the gradation list. Dr Jagat Ram (PGIMER), do not have required five years’ experience as head of department, he took over as head only a year ago,”
The three names discussed in the professor’s letter to the Prime Minister were recommendations of the institute body(IB) of the PGI, last week, to the Appointment Committee of the cabinet (ACC). These names had initially been recommended by a selection committee, headed by the Union Health Secretary and constituted by the health ministry.
Meanwhile, reiterating on the selection of the Director, PGIMER, Union Health Secretary, C K Mishra has made it aptly clear that the process is not guided by any formally laid down criteria.
The published advertisement for the PGIMER Director’s position states that the applicant is to have a 21-year standing in the profession, after post-graduation; and teaching or research experience of not less than 14 years. The upper age limit for an applicant should “not exceed 60 years, only to be relax able for government servants or few other categories,” the advertisement further states.
Mr. Mishr, however told Chandigarh Newsline.“There have never been any criteria to select the PGI director. The committee only goes by the performance and CVs, and then selects. We only see whether applicant qualifies, the basic eligibility criteria, and rest is all how they present themselves.”
It was in August, that the Union Health Minister JP Nadda appointed a selection committee at the behest of the PGIMER. Twenty nine candidates were called, with only twenty six appearing; and three emerging as the final committee recommendations.
Prior to this mode of final selection, it was the institute body that discussed the names of the applicants called for the post and then one name was recommended to the government on the basis of seniority and other parameters.
However, this year’s mode of selection seems to have triggered a host of resentments among senior faculty members leading to delays in the appointment in all quarters.