Controversy mars Himachal PG Medical counseling
Shimla: Policy changes made in handing out admissions to post graduate (PG) courses in medical colleges has raised a controversy with some pointing fingers at involvement of a cabinet minister as his ward happens to be one of the beneficiaries under the changed norms.
Dismissing all such insinuations Jaishree Sharma, director medical education says, “the counselling done for PG courses was a transparent process and did adopt the procedure used by selectors of the all India post-graduate medical examiners.”
The controversy is policy changes made that suit direct candidates against those who have qualified the written examination but belong to General Duty Officers (GDO’s), a category of government in-service from 70 % of PG seats are reserved. This has been done to incentivise MBBS doctors to serve in rural areas.
There were 19 PG seats at IG Medical College, Shimla till last year but Medical Council of India (MCI) permitted increasing them to 38 from 2010-11 session onwards. Of them, 25 are reserved for GDOs for which only 16 candidates did qualify the competitive held in January 2010.
A common merit list was drawn up and at the counselling conducted ten days ago, those higher in the merit were offered course choices on a first come first serve basis.
“The topper in the direct category had a score of 137 marks and the top GDO candidate had a score of 120 marks,” said Jaishree Sharma.
With the better preferred courses taken up direct candidates, GDO doctors have cried foul saying the rules had been changed to favour direct candidates as one of them happens to be the daughter of a minister and another is also a close relative of a minister. The GDO candidates have dragged the issue into High Court where it comes up for hearing on 4th May.
Till last year, the selection process involved drew up separate merit lists for GDO doctors as well as direct ones, who would compete for seats in specific disciplines reserved for the category that followed a roster.
“Bending rules to favour direct candidates has come as a blow to those doctors who are serving in rural areas,” says Tikender Panwer a member of CPI(M).
On the other hand 6 doctors – Vishal Vohra, Richa Bhardwaj, Vikas Kumar, Asha Ranjan, Dhananjay Singh, Deeksha Bindal and Swati, from the direct category in a written statement held that false accusations were being made as they had secured seats at the counselling on merit basis and were not being favoured in any way.