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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

50% marks for interview to recruit super-specialist docs in Punjab raises eyebrows

chandigarh Updated: Aug 18, 2019 00:20 IST
Hindustantimes
         

Doctors in Punjab are up in arms against medical education and research department’s stipulation of keeping 50% marks for interview in direct recruitment of 40 professors, associate professors and assistant professors in super-specialty departments.

The advertisement was released on August 14 and has kicked up a controversy, with association of doctors branding it as an attempt to promote favouritism. They also claim that the recruitment will be against many judgments of the Supreme Court which state that interview marks should not exceed 15%.

“This is totally unjustified. With such heavy band-width of marks in the interview, it has become very easy for the selection panel to favour someone. The kind of political interference we usually have in our system, do you think the selection panel will not entertain any political recommendations,” said Dr DS Bhullar, general secretary, Punjab State Medical and Teachers Association.

Of 100 marks that make up the selection criteria, 50 are forinterview, 10 for MBBS, 10 for MD/MS, 20 for publications and 10 for additional qualifications, including fellowships. Sixteen professors, 16 associate professors and eight assistant professors are being recruited.

The association has also termed it as an injustice with doctors already rendering their services to the department and who are waiting for their selection on the posts of professors, assistant and associate professors through the promotional quota.

“Promotional quota recruitments have been kept on hold because the department has not held a Departmental Promotional Committee (DPC) meeting for years. Yet, now very junior doctors are being selected under direct quota to become senior to their seniors in the PCMS,” the association adds.

Previous such process challenged in HC

Sources said that the department had already filled 64 posts of professors, assistant and associate professors by following the same process of 50% marks for interview in July. A Hoshiarpur resident, Dr Manjeet Singh, has challenged the process in the Punjab and Haryana high court.

“The marks for interview are so high that a candidate having more marks on the basis of his qualifications and experience can easily be ousted from the selection process by awarding lower marks in the interview,” Manjeet has pleaded in court.

He has also cited judgments by the apex court clarifying the upper limit of keeping a ceiling of 15% marks for interview.

HT has learnt that the previous medical education minister Brahm Mohindra had expressed reservations on having 50% marks for interviews in direct recruitment.

However, the decision was given the go-ahead a few days after the reshuffle of the state cabinet on June 6 this year. Former Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, director Dr KK Talwar heads the selection panel.

Medical education and research director Dr Avnish Kumar said, “The decision to keep 50% marks for interview was taken only after the Punjab cabinet gave its nod.”

First Published: Aug 18, 2019 00:20 IST

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