The governing body of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, has set aside the selection of institute director Dr YK Chawla’s daughter and son-in-law.
The meeting of governing body, which was chaired by Union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda in New Delhi on Tuesday, decided that the standing selection committee of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, would conduct fresh interviews of all candidates.
Dr Chawla’s daughter Parul Chawla and son-in-law Ankur Gupta are working as assistant professors on ad hoc basis at the PGIMER department of ophthalmology and cardiology, respectively. In the interviews held in August and September this year, they appeared before the standing selection committee for regular posts.
Sources revealed that all candidates who applied for the post of assistant professor in both the departments would be called again for interview by the AIIMS standing selection committee. Sources said that when the agenda of selection and promotion of candidates came up for the discussion at the governing body meeting, Dr Chawla and all other PGI officials withdrew themselves from the meeting. Earlier, also, Dr Chawla had gone on leave and recused himself from the interview process of both the cardiology and ophthalmology departments, for which his daughter and son-in-law had appeared. He was the member-secretary of the committee.
According to the minutes of the meeting, the governing body had shown faith in the selection committee as well as the PGI director, but the move to cancel the selection process is being seen as a setback for the committee. The selection committee is constituted by the governing body and is being headed by former PGI director Dr BK Sharma.
When contacted, Dr Sharma said he didn’t agree that it was a setback for the committee as a small part of selection process had been set aside. “There was nothing wrong in the selection process and it was fair and impartial. We followed the rules which permit that both the candidates can appear for the job at the institute. Even the Union health minister expressed full faith in the committee,” said Dr Sharma.