The Department of Medical Education and Research, Government of Punjab issued a public notice on 14.08.2019 inviting applications for the direct quota posts of professors ,associate professors and assistant professors in the super-specialty department under Punjab Medical Education (Group-A) Service Rules, 2016. To be exact, 16 vacancies were made available for the post of Professor, 16 for associate professor and 8 for assistant professor in a number of departments including nuclear medicine, hospital administration, cardiology, nephrology, etc
The eligibility criteria for the above-mentioned posts were also given in the said public notice which eventually raised a point of controversy. The Department demanded for a minimum of 50% marks academically in order to be eligible for the post of professor and 40% and 25% marks academically, for attaining eligibility for the post of associate professor and assistant professor, respectively. The major point of disagreement arose when the Department required the candidates to score a minimum of 50% in the interview in order to be qualified for the posts. However, 5% relaxation was awarded to SC candidates for academics and interview marks. Further, it was observed that the Department has already recruited 64 candidates in July for the post of professor, associate professor and assistant professor following the same recruitment criteria as mentioned in the notice.
Dr BS Bhullar, General Secretary of the Punjab State Medical and Teachers Association said, “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”. The association is also of the view that an injustice is being done to the serving doctors who are expecting to be selected for the posts through the promotional quota. In addition, the promotional quota recruitments are being kept on hold because the Departmental Promotional Committee (DPC) meeting has not taken place since years, eventually giving an upper hand to junior doctors as against the seniors.
Dr Manjeet Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur district has challenged the said notice in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. He contended that a number of judgments have been laid down by the apex court keeping a ceiling of 15% marks for the interview which shows that the eligibility criteria for the posts are in violation for those judgments. However, it has been observed that Brahm Mohindra, former medical education minister approved of having 50% marks for interviews in case of direct recruitments and the decision was accepted by Dr KK Talwar who heads the selection panel. Furthermore, this decision was only considered after the Punjab Cabinet gave a green signal for the same.
This post is written by Prabhjot Kaur of Vivekananda Institute of Studies. For more info, please dial 99888-17966.