As the general impression among the medical fraternity at Government Medical College is that Principal Dr. BS Bal, who was allegedly caught by a vigilance team while being indulged in private practice, would at least be replaced if nothing more, they hope that the new appointment would be made on the basis of merit.
Faculty members say the administrative appointments at the college are made on the basis of proximity with politicians instead of merit. Even the incumbent principal is a neighbor of the former Medical education and research minister, they say.
A senior member of the faculty, requesting anonymity, said, “The new government should honor merit and seniority over political affiliations. The only way to end political intervention in the college is that the head is appointed on merit. Earlier, political interference had increased to the level that officials could not even allot a milk booth through the proper process without ‘sifarish’ (recommendation) of their political bosses.”
Appointments to administrative posts at the college in the past several years have been mired in controversy as seniors were bypassed to appoint juniors reportedly close to politicians.
As the allegations of favoritism increased, so did the charges of corruption against senior officials thus appointed. “The merit has been completely ignored in the past few years. Sidelining the seniors, junior people have been given plum positions. It hampers the work culture. Now, everyone feels that instead of work, one should make good relations with politicians,” said another faculty member, who wished not to be named.
The institute with a glorious past, which was known as a nursery of medical institutes, is going through a serious crisis as in every inspection by the Medical Council of India, large numbers of shortcomings are listed. “The only way to bring the institute out of the crisis is the appointment of a competent person and ensuring his full support,” said a professor.