Several senior Class I health officers who lost the first stage of the race for Deputy Director of Health Services posts to their juniors have decided to challenge the manner in which several candidates were selected through a written examination of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC). They alleged that many candidates who did not have required qualifications and experience prescribed for the written test were selected for the interview.
Some senior health officers in Pune district health department preferring anonymity said that a batch of 10 officials including Dr S Rajure, additional district health officer, Pune, Dr Ashok Nandapurkar, civil surgeon, Thane, Dr Vedak ADHO, Kolhapur, Dr S Andurkar, medical superintendent, rural hospital, Paud, Dr Bawiskar, Dr Pardeshi and others have decided to challenge the “faulty” MPSC selection process.
Vocal among the lot was Dr Rajure who told Pune Newsline that one of the criteria for selection as Deputy Director of Health is that the candidate should be a Class I officer with at least five years of experience. “We are upset that five candidates who have been called for interview have just two to three years’ experience and only one of them is a Class I officer,” Rajure said.
According to Dr Ashok Nandapurkar, basic recruitment rules were cast aside during the written examination in August 2014 meant only for Class I officers who had five years of experience. Around 250 candidates appeared for the exam and 15 were short-listed for the interview. There are three categories of Class I officers, one is of rank of a civil surgeon, another is a district health officer and the third is a specialist. “What is unfair is that at least five do not meet the required criteria and should have not qualified for the written examination,” Nandapurkar said.
Now, such candidates permitted to appear for exams have been called for an interview on March 2, Rajure claimed and added that this was the second time there was such a “chaotic mess” within the health department. Doctors had then filed a writ in the Aurangabad High Court that eventually called for a stay on the decision.
Due to these reasons the health department loses out on good and experienced officers while posts like Deputy Director, Joint Director and others continue to be vacant. “We have written to the Principal Secretary, Health and informed the Director of Health Dr Satish Pawar about the developments. A meeting has been called on February 27,” Rajure added.