Calling out its bias against the hiring of qualified doctors from the SC and ST communities, a panel of legislators has pulled up the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, saying that they are deliberately declared as 'not suitable' for the posts.
To stop the discrimination, the panel has suggested that students appear in exams using a fictitious code number.
The Parliamentary Panel on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, headed by BJP MP Kirit P Solanki, was looking at the roles of autonomous bodies and educational institutions, including central universities and engineering colleges, in the socio-economic development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with a focus on AIIMS.
The panel has alleged bias in the academic grading of students from these communities and asked the health ministry to take a strong look into the matter. It said in the report that students from the community are “declared failed a number of times” in the MBBS course at the first, second or third stages of professional examination despite sincere efforts.
“It has been often seen that these students had invariably done very well in theory examinations but are declared to have failed in the practical examinations. This clearly underlines the biases towards SC/ST students. This must be dealt with firm decision and that a suitable examination monitoring system may be developed to put an end to this biased practice,” the panel said, asking the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take stern action to check such unfair practices.
It also suggested that the Dean-Examination make a comprehensive report to the DGHS within a stipulated time limit.
The panel also said the hospital has stopped the hiring of doctors from the communities, wrongly claiming that they are not qualified enough.
“The committee is not inclined to accept the frequent stereo-type reply of the Government that ‘no sufficient number of suitable candidates could be found’. This is in fact not a correct picture of assessment of the SC/ST candidates who are equally bright and deserving … they are deliberately declared as ‘not suitable’ because of a wrong biased assessment by the Selection Committee just to deprive SC/ST candidates of their legitimate rights to be part of faculty member (sic),” the panel has noted in its report.
The panel has asked for a selection committee to be formed, constituted primarily of SC/ST experts, and see that vacancies are filled suitably. The panel has also asked that reservation is extended to speciality fields.
In the medical institution, 15% of the seats are reserved for SCs and 7.5% for STs. Noting that there are more than 350 vacancies, the committee has also asked the health ministry to come up with a plan within three months and fill the posts.