Sanctioned posts at ICMR vacant: RTI
At least one-third of the sanctioned positions are lying vacant in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s premier medical research regulatory body, according to data received in response to a right to information (RTI) query.
Last month, an RTI activist who did not wish to be identified had sought a response from ICMR on the names and number of sanctioned posts it had, the number of posts filled and those that were vacant. The ICMR could not provide complete data from all its branches across the country, but its headquarters in New Delhi had only 512 of the 763 sanctioned posts filled.
“This is a huge vacancy, and will make research in India suffer. And this is just New Delhi we are talking about. The ICMR has about 25 more branches. If we take all into consideration, the vacancies will be much higher,” said the RTI activist who filed the application. Of the 251 vacancies, 20 are of scientists belonging to different grades -- B, C, D, E, F and G. Also, at least 30 posts are lying vacant for technical officers, technical assistants and technicians that are the cornerstones of any research project.
“If there are not enough technicians around, then scientists end up doing the job of technicians, which costs them crucial time in the lab. The government should fill up these posts on an urgent basis,” said the activist.
Dr Balram Bhargava, director general, ICMR, said, “There is no shortage. We have been holding regular interviews to fill up the vacancies. We have hired about 30 scientists already and we will hire over 50 more by next month.
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