SC, ST docs' body miffed with AIIMS over promotions

It dubs appointments illegal ahead of the apex court verdict on the matter

The decision of All India Institute of Medical Sciences to promote over 130 doctors recently to the post of additional professors and professors has sparked a row with doctors' body claiming that their elevation was unjustified as their appointments were disputed.

The SC/ST Medical Association, which has been opposing the appointment of these doctors for over a decade, said that the AIIMS Governing Body had on last Friday approved granting promotions to these 139 doctors “days before the Supreme Court is to announce its verdict on their fate.”

The association had earlier moved the apex court challenging appointments of 164 professors in 2003 alleging them they were “illegal” as recruitment rules were openly violated. The matter is listed for hearing later this week.

The SC/ST Medical Association’s in a letter to Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad claimed that AIIMS had advertised 91 backlog posts of professors and additional professors, all reserved for SC/ST/OBCs, the recruitment process for these post were kept in abeyance at the behest of PMO in 2008 and nobody still knows what happened to those posts. It said on one hand, “even though illegalities of appointments are under judicial review, these illegalities are being allowed to be perpetuated by providing these appointees the benefit of repeated promotions.” Several prominent politicians as well as the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health have also opposed the appointments on grounds of “caste discrimination” in the premier medical institution.

The SC/ST association had urged Azad “to ask the ministry to hold back its decision to provide promotions to these illegal appointees on July 19 and allow the matter to be decided by the court on its merit on July 27.” The letter was sent in the  backdrop of MPs of several parties writing to the prime minister and raising the issue in Parliament alleging discrimination being meted out to SC, ST and OBC doctors in AIIMS, driving some of them even to suicide.

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