27 Jul, 2022 8:43a.m.

Parl. panel find SC/STs applicants not inducted members in AIIMS despite eligibility


Despite having appropriate eligibility and competency, experienced SC/STs applicants "are not allowed to be inducted" as faculty members in AIIMS, according to a report by a parliamentary standing committee.

According to the standing committee report on the welfare of scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) filed in Lok Sabha, this is happening at a time when AIIMS has 275 Assistant Professors and 92 Professor vacancies out of a total of 1111 faculty positions.

According to the report, the Committee believes all vacant professor seats must be filed within the next three months.

"The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare must submit an action plan within three months of the Report being presented to both Houses of Parliament," it said. "The Committee also has a firm view that in the future, after filling all existing vacant positions, no faculty seat reserved for SC/ST shall be kept vacant for more than six months under any circumstances," it said.

"The Committee notices that, although having appropriate eligibility and competence, fully experienced SCs/STs aspirants are not permitted to be inducted as faculty members at any stage," it stated.

The Committee further stated that it is "not inclined" to accept the government's commonly stereotyped response that "no adequate number of eligible candidates could be discovered."

"This is hardly a fair appraisal of the SC/ST candidates, who are as intelligent and deserving." "However, they are purposefully designated 'not suitable' due to incorrect biassed assessment by the Selection Committee in order to deprive SC/ST candidates of their legitimate rights to be part of the faculty," the committee stated.

The panel further stated that there are now no SC and ST members in the AIIMS General Body, which deprives SCs/STs of their legitimate rights to participate in decision-making and policy concerns, as well as to protect the interests of SCs and STs in service matters.

"It is the Committee's legitimate expectation that there must be an SC/ST member in the General Body of AIIMS to represent the SC/ST community and protect their interests in service matters, as well as to be part of the decision-making process of the policy being framed by the AIIMS authority and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare," it stated.

Noting that the reservation is not extended/applied in super-speciality courses, the panel stated that SC/ST community members are not permitted to enrol in these courses.

This leads in unprecedented and unjustified deprivation of SC and ST applicants, as well as the monopoly of unreserved faculty members in super-speciality subjects, according to the report. "Reservation policies must be tightly implemented at both the student and faculty levels in all super-speciality domains to ensure the presence of SC and ST faculty members."

"For this aim, the Committee is of the firm belief that an effective mechanism is established to transfer SC and ST doctors and students abroad for specialised training so that their adequate representation may be seen visually in all super-speciality domains," the panel stated.

The committee also noted that the overall proportion of admission of SCs and STs in MBBS and other undergraduate programmes, as well as post-graduate degrees, in various AIIMS is significantly below than the required level of 15% for SCs and 7.5% for STs.

"This paints a pretty bleak picture of filling undergraduate and postgraduate seats in the SC and ST categories at various AIIMS." "As a result, the Committee strongly recommends that AIIMS closely adhere to the stipulated percentage of quota for SCs/STs in all courses," it stated.

The Committee emphasised the importance of maintaining the percentage of reservations in order to provide additional chances for SCs and STs.

"The Committee expects the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to make serious efforts to meticulously fill all vacant seats so that eligible candidates from SC/ST are not denied their entitled seats," it added.

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