Governor’s admn to end pick & choose in filling key positions of Health Deptt

Panel of officers on seniority basis sought

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Sept 28: Aiming to bring transparency and avoid pick and choose in appointments on key positions in the Health Department, the Governor’s administration has sought panel of eligible officers, strictly as per seniority, for filling up of the posts of Deputy Directors and equivalent.
The Administrative Department is learnt to have asked both the Directors of Health Services, Jammu/Kashmir, to furnish the panel of 10 each senior most Chief Medical Officers/Incharge CMOs and equivalent as well as Block Medical Officers and equivalent having prescribed qualifying service and strictly as per seniority lists.
Besides this, posting details as well as APRs of last five years and work and conduct reports of the officers in the panel have also been sought from the Directors in a time bound manner, officials sources told the Excelsior.
This is apparently for the first time that panel of eligible officers on the basis of seniority and previous posting details has been sought for filling the vacant positions of Deputy Directors and others in the Health Department, where pick and choose policy has allegedly remained prevalent owing to political and other reasons.
Pertinent to mention that besides the Director Health Services Jammu, five key positions in the Directorate are lying vacant, some of them for months together and even more than a year, notwithstanding the availability of eligible officers to take over these positions and effectively handle the affairs.
The key positions, which are lying vacant, include the posts of State Tuberculosis Officer, State Malarialogist, Divisional Nutrition Officer, Deputy Director Headquarters and Deputy Director Schemes.
The post of State Malarialogist (SM) is lying vacant since the retirement of then SM, Dr Madhuri Slathia, who attained age of superannuation in May 2018 while the post of State Tuberculosis Officer is not filled since July 2018 after the retirement of then STO Dr Sujata Sharma. Similarly the posts of Deputy Director Schemes and Deputy Director Headquarter have also not been filled since the retirement of Dr Dimple Singh in July 2018 and Dr Ajay Gupta in October 2017, respectively.
Even as Dr Chander Parkash, Assistant Director Health Education Bureau was assigned the additional charge of Deputy Director Headquarters and the incumbent Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Jammu has been given the charge of State Malarialogist in addition to his own responsibilities, both the significant positions are awaiting regular officers for smooth conduct of the operations. Another position lying vacant in the Directorate is the post of Divisional Nutrition Officer, Jammu, for which no appointment was made since the retirement of Dr Saroj Kotwal in September 2017.
Now for filling up of the posts, the Health and Medical Education Department, vide its communication number HD/GAZ/Gen/138/128, dated 24-09-2018, to the Director Health Services Kashmir and Director Health Services Jammu, has sought vacancy position of Deputy Directors and equivalent and Chief Medical Officers and equivalent, along with cause of vacancy and present arrangement thereof.
However, most significant part of the communication is seeking panel of 10 each senior most CMOs/Incharge CMOs and equivalent viz-a-viz BMOs and equivalent having prescribed qualifying service as three years and five years, respectively, strictly as per seniority lists. In addition to this, APRs of last five years of the panel, work and conduct/integrity/no pending court case/no departmental pending enquiry certificates as well as posting details for obtaining Vigilance clearances as per GAD latest guidelines have been sought.
A top officer in the Department of Health told the Excelsior that the entire exercise is being carried out to ensure transparency and end the prevalent pick and choose practice in selection of the officers for key positions.
“Work in this regard is in progress and the panel of eligible officers, strictly as per seniority along with other required information is being submitted so that the vacant positions are filled up very soon,” the officer said.