PG medical entrance examination for Safdarjung and RML hospitals : The Union Ministry of Health and GGSIP University.
The Union Ministry of Health and GGSIP University are at loggerheads over the PG medical entrance examination for Safdarjung and RML hospitals for the academic year 2012-13. Ignoring an official order by the Health ministry to cancel the exam, the university has started counselling for the 91 selected candidates on April 11.
A section of students had alleged irregularities, after the written exam was conducted on March 31. The result was announced on April 1 after which no complaints were registered at the university. The irregularities, suggested by the students, and named in a letter from the ministry, are: The questions were “tough” and out of syllabus; the format was unconventional; and, the candidates’ father’s name was asked for in the OMR sheet.
Though an inquiry conducted by the university had found the allegations baseless, a letter was issued by the office of the Directorate General of Health (DGHS) services to cancel the exam, with an enclosed letter from MP Kamlesh Prasad. However, since the V-C of IP University was not “consulted” before ordering the ministry’s enquiry, university authorities turned away the three-member delegation, headed by Deputy Director General (Medical Education) Dr G K Sharma.
A day before the scheduled counselling of selected candidates, a letter signed by Assistant DG (Medical Education), Dr Sanjay Shrivastava, dated April 9, was sent to both Safdarjung and RML hospitals, directing them to “hold the counselling”.
“In view of the decision taken by the ministry that counselling for the state quota PG Medical Seats of GGS IP University is to be kept on hold till the outcome of an inquiry into allegation of serious lacunae and defect in the examination conducted by the university, no member of faculty will be nominated by Safdarjung and Dr RML Hospitals and DGHS,” the letter stated.
Sections within both the hospitals allege that the ministry took the “extreme step”, since the daughter of the Director of General Health Services (DGHS) was one of the candidates who failed to clear the entrance exam.
DGHS Dr Jagdish Prasad did not respond to these allegations despite repeated calls, messages and an email questionnaire.
A questionnaire sent to the Information section of Ministry of Health, was also not answered.
When contacted, Dr Shrivastava said, “I am not in a position to comment on the matter.”
Dr G K Sharma, who headed the ministry’s inquiry team, said, “The inquiry was ordered since we received complaints from students over the nature of questions. We went to the university last week, as per ministry directions, but were not allowed to access the answer sheets. We were told we did not have the V-C’s permission.”
Calling the reaction of the ministry “unfortunate”, Dr D K Bandopadhya, V-C of GGS IP University, said, “We ordered an inquiry into the alleged irregularities and found that none of them warranted the cancellation of the exam. In fact, all the students complained before the declaration of the result. Post the results, no one has approached the university.”
“Though the findings were communicated to them, the ministry has directed the hospitals not to participate in the counselling. This is not warranted,” Dr Bandopadhyay said.
Meanwhile, this clash between the ministry and the university, has left the future of the selected candidates uncertain. “If the colleges refuse to admit selected candidates, it will be between them and the students. If students approach us with official complaints, we will intervene. As of now, we will follow our academic schedule,” the V-C said.