Chandigarh: In the recent light of events, where members of a SC/ST body filed a complaint alleging discrimination in the selection process against SC candidates during appointment for PGI director, Union Health Secretary, C K Mishra appeared before the National Commission for Scheduled Castes in New Delhi. During the hearing CK Mishra informed the Commission that The Selection Committee appointed by the Union health Minister, JP Nadda, for short listing doctors for the Director PGI position was done based on the ‘merit and suitability’ criteria .
Chandigarh Tribune reports that the union Health Secretary CK Mishra submitted his report with details of the list of applicants for the post of PGI Director and explained to the National Commission the process adopted for selection of the panel. Defining the criterion for selection as one based on ‘merit and suitability’, the Secretary moved onto presenting the ‘action taken’ report. The Commission in turn asked for a rejoinder to be submitted by the petitioners.
Replying to the Commission’s query as to why parameters like seniority, administrative experience and merit were not taken into account to shortlist the panel, Ishwar Singh, National Commission member said that the health secretary explained to the commission that applicants for the PGI post were asked to come up with five slides which would serve as criteria for their selection, also pointing out that no preference was given to seniority.
The National Commission will further comment on the matter after the petitioner rejoinder has been submitted, reiterated Singh. “The commission has already said till the clearance of Commission is issued, the selection may be put on hold,” stated Singh.
Controversy seems to be brewing due to the nature of selection done by the Mishra headed selection committee. Dr Anil Bhansali, Head of Department of Endocrinology, Dr Meenu Singh, Department of Paediatrics, and Dr Jagat Ram, Head, Advanced Eye Center, were the names recommended by the selection committee.
The selection panel’s choice of candidates has ruffled feathers in the PGI faculty which has raised questions about many candidates’ credibility. Of the three shortlisted candidates, according to senior faculty members, one of them is junior in terms of professor seniority, while another candidate has faced a vigilance probe in the past.
The next hearing is to be on December 12, informed Ishwar Singh.