RIMS in Ranchi
The best-known state-run health centre in Jharkhand, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi’s Bariatu, is facing another huge embarrassment apart from the Medical Council of India (MCI) recommending a slash of 60 from its existing 150 medical college seats.
There are only two applicants for for the topmost chair of RIMS.
Advertised in the second week of July by the state health department, the recruitment notice to fill up the post of director of RIMS has drawn two applications till date.
The last date to apply for the post was July 18 and last date for its receipt at the health department office was July 23.
It means that most reputable doctors — with the seniority and ability to merit the designation — have bypassed the RIMS recruitment ad.
This glaring snub to what is one of the most plum government posts available in Jharkhand for doctors may well leave the state health department red-faced. Though vacancies in rural health centres hardly attract applicants, the department mandarins can console themselves with the fact that young doctors don’t want village postings. In the case of RIMS, no such consolation is available.
As the top RIMS vacancy has attracted only two applicants, the department is also in no hurry to scrutinise them or appoint a a regular director by removing the one who is officiating, Dr S.K. Choudhary.
“It is true that till July 23, we received only two applications. The department knows both the applicants and there is no additional effort needed to scrutinise their credentials. The department, at present, is pondering over a different question, whether to initiate the process of recruiting a director or not,” the source said.
But contacted, joint secretary of the health department B.K. Mishra said otherwise. “RIMS will get a regular director soon. We have initiated the process,” he said.
When asked whether the department was delaying the process after receiving only two applications, Mishra said: “It is not like that. We will begin the process as soon as Assembly sessions are over.”
When told about the apprehensions of RIMS doctors that the recruitment process might get locked till November if Assembly elections were announced and model code of conduct was imposed, Mishra again said: “No, nothing of the kind will happen.”
But a senior doctor at RIMS said immediate recruitment of a regular director was vital as it happened to be one of the core criteria of MCI.
“At a time when RIMS is going through a rough phase, it is very important that the institute should have a regular director at the earliest. When Puja Singhal Purwar was the director of RIMS in 2005-2006, the MCI had objected to her appointment as a non-doctor and even threatened to de-recognise the institute. Then, wing commander (retired) Dr N.N. Agarwal was appointed as regular director in March 2006. We need an accomplished doctor for the post,” said Dr J.K. Mitra, president of IMA, Ranchi, and also a RIMS doctor.