New Delhi:The National Commission for Scheduled Castes(NCSC) citing violations in the selection procedure for the PGIMER Director’s position, has asked the Ministry of Health to review the list of the three finalists approved for the institute’s top position.
In its order on the selection process after the final hearing in the case on Thursday for which senior health ministry and PGI officials appeared before it, the commission said shortlisting cannot be done on the basis of “suitability”.
The orders that were passed on the selection process on Thursday, for which senior health ministry and PGI officials made an appearance before it, the Commission stated that names could not be shortlisted on the basis of “suitability.” The NCSC member Mr. Ishwar Singh react edby saying,“There are some recruitment rules to be followed in the selection of PGI Director. These include seniority, merit, experience and length of service. These rules were violated by the search and selection committee. It appears candidates to be favoured were selected earlier and the interviews were held to suit a plan. We have recommended a review of the final panel keeping in view the seniority, experience and research credentials of the three candidates.”
During a questioning at the hearing, the commission asked the ministry officials to state the reason behind placing Dr Jagat Ram at the bottom of the list of the chosen three, when he in reality is the senior most in terms of the number of years in service, with Anil Bhansali 27th in the PGI professor seniority and Dr. Meenu Singh falling 52nd in rank in terms of seniority.
Mr Singh in his rejoinder added that the “commission is of the view that the names of the shortlisted doctors in the panel seem to have been decided in advance”, even before the panel was formed. It is a clear case of discrimination against a doctor who belongs to the deprived section of the society,”
“Dr Jagat Ram has a research gate score of 54.10, whereas Dr Bhansali’s score is 40.61. The merit and seniority list of a Scheduled Caste candidate (Dr Jagat Ram) has been ignored. The ministry says it considered suitability and merit in selections. Suitability is not the criteria for selection to government office. Prof Jagat Ram who has the requisite qualifications and experience and is the senior-most among the other two candidates has been placed at the bottom of the selection panel. Hence, the selection committee has clearly violated the recruitment rules to the post of PGI Director and was insensitive to the interests of deprived sections,” stated the NCSC order.
The commission, which also took cognizance of a detailed The Tribune report on this subject, documented a range of discrepancies in its order. It questioned the inclusion of Dr Anil Bhansali, HoD (endocrinology), PGI, in the panel, saying: “Dr Bhansali was not free from vigilance shadow and PGI’s Chief Vigilance . Commenting on Dr. Meenu Singh having been shortlisted, despite not being a head of department, the commission called it a direct violation of the PGI Director recruitment rules
“Dr Meenu Singh is not HoD. She has a very low research gate score. Dr Jagat Ram has 280 research papers, 24 national and international awards, while Dr Bhansali and Dr Singh don’t have adequate research publications,” the order stated casting doubts on the accuracy of selections.
The ministry on the day of representation by Joint Secretary Arun Singhal emphasized that it had in its course of selection followed prescribed procedures.;which were consented to by the Institute Body of the PGI on 3rd November. The Commission however, rejected the ministry explanations as unsatisfactory.
The NCSC member Ishwar Singh, who passed the orders told the media,“The ministry had no answers to how they ignored Dr Jagat Ram’s seniority, his length of service, his highest number of national and global awards, his highest research score among the three finalists.” The names of the finalists for the PGIMER Director’s position are with the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, which has sought some replies from the ministry. The post fell vacant on October 7