From changing rules to putting eligible candidates on the waiting list, the PGIMER’s administrators can go to any extent to ensure that people of their choice are appointed to important posts in the administration.
In a report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has pointed out irregularities in the appointment of deputy medical superintendents, superintending hospital engineer and other officials.
In April 2012, by an advertisement, applications were invited for a post of superintending engineer on deputation. The prescribed qualification was a degree in civil or electrical engineering. However, no selection was made.
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The authorities then got the recruitment rules changed in the governing body meeting held in July 2013, making those holding degrees in mechanical and electronics engineering also eligible.
The CAG report says, “Though the educational qualification in the recruitment rules could not be relaxed without the prior consent of the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), the same was not obtained by the institute. As a result, this amendment in the recruitment rules was irregular.”
The post was advertised again in October 2013 with the new qualifications.
Interview was conducted in January 2014 and Parvinder Singh Saini (hospital engineer, biomedical, PGI) with qualification as BE (Electronic) and MTech in Energy Management, was promoted to the post of Superintending Hospital Engineer.
The report says, “It clearly shows that the amendment in the recruitment rules was made just to favour the promotion/appointment of Parvinder Singh Saini. The appointment on the basis of amended recruitment rules without prior concurrence of DOPT was irregular.”
The PGIMER did not give reasons for amendments of recruitment rules, or for Saini’s appointment on the basis of the amended recruitment rules without DOPT’s approval.
The second case is of the appointment of Dr Vipin Kaushal and Dr R K Shama (now dead) as Deputy Medical Superintendents.
The PGIMER invited applications for appointment on three (two regular and one ad hoc) posts of DMS. A total of 16 applications were received, eight candidates were cleared by the scrutiny committee and five appeared for the interview.
Out of five, two candidates, namely Dr Vipin Kaushal and Dr R K Sharma, were selected and one candidate, Dr Ashok Kumar, waitlisted by the selection committee.
“Scrutiny of records showed that Dr Vipin Kaushal did not have the essential qualification and experience viz postgraduate qualification in the broad discipline in the medical science, including its various sub-specialties and super specialties, as he was having only a masters degree in hospital administration,” reads the report.
Similarly, Dr Sharma was also not qualified.
The report points out, “Both the DMSs were selected ignoring essential qualifications though the candidate retained as waitlist Dr Ashok Kumar possessed all the requisite essential qualifications. Thus, selection of the candidates without having essential qualifications at the time of interview was irregular which needs justification.”
After a complaint by an ex-employee, the case was investigated by the Vigilance Department which concluded that both the DMSs did not possess the essential qualification. However, after discussing the case with the PGI director, the vigilance dropped the case. This needs justification, says the report.
The PGIMER management replied to CAG that the candidates lacked requisite experience which was relaxable by the selection committee and the Governing Body and that there was an obvious administrative lapse for not recording it in the minutes of the selection committee and in GB, for which candidates could not be penalised.
However, the audit report says, “The reply is not acceptable as selection of ineligible candidates without having requisite experience/qualification ignoring the eligible ones is irregular.”