Appearing for an entrance and availing a professional degree is all right everywhere. However, one entrance and getting dual professional degrees is something that only happens in Kashmir.
A senior doctor and Deputy Medical Superintendent at Shere-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences’ Medical College or (JVC, Bemina), Dr Shifa Abeeda is at the helm of affairs at JVC Bemina. The senior doctor has allegedly availed two MD degrees on one professional entrance examination, courtesy crisis-hit SKIMS deemed University.
Sources informed two degrees were allotted to the accused candidate, who had appeared in entrance exam in 1997 and was declared to have passed the examination in MD MCh (Maternal and Child Health) in 2001 vide notification SIMS/Acad 37 0f 2001 dated Sept 2001.
They said that instead of relieving the said office in 2001 after completing the MD she retained in SKIMS without any further selection /Recruitment.
According to official record, Medical Counsel of India (MCI) abandoned the MD in MCH course in 2000/2001. The aspirants who had completed such courses were relieved after completion of the course and the ones who were perusing such courses were offered other streams and the matter was placed before the standing Academic Committee in July 2001 at a time when Dr Shifa too was pursuing the same course.
In a reply to an RTI (SKIMS RTI file no: 120) filed by one Younis Bakhshi of Bhagat Barzulla, Srinagar, the SKIMS authorities confirmed that the doctor was issued two professional degrees on a single entrance.
“Yes, Dr Shifa was awarded two PG degrees on a single entrance by the SKIMS authorities as per the Annexure A and B,” the RTI reply revelled.
In subsequent meeting in August 2001, where 6 postgraduates perusing MCH course were discussed and decided to be put into other streams. The matter was placed before the Chief Secretary and the then chief minister who approved the same vide order 3784 -CS/2001 FH dated 22-10-2001 and 24-10-2001.This was followed by counseling 0n 24-12-2001 and the change of stream order was issued on Jan, 2nd 20O2.
“The name of Dr Shifa did not figure in these all activities as the authorities wanted to complete her curse and favor her with another Degree. Her case too should have been placed before the Academic Committee but that was not the case. She was allowed to complete the degree which she did Sept 2001 and ought to have been relieved like many others who had completed MD in MCH and were working in the field,” sources said.
Partiality SKIMS authorities issued a corrigendum, a copy of which is lying with us, saying “Addedndum to Notification Number ACCAD 01/0f 2002 dated January 2002. Kindly treat flowing incorporated in the following said notification in Para 01 and after serial number 6,” a corrigendum copy issued by SKIMS said. “Serial Number 7, Shifa Abida to Hospital Administration.”
Source informed that she wasn’t only retained but a corrigendum to the changed stream order was issued on 15th of Jan 2002 merely less than two weeks after the order for 6 candidates was issued which took 6 months processing to materialize.
“Her case not put into any Standing Academic Committee nor was she eligible for the same as she had completed her degree,” sources said. Sources said that by virtue of this she was allowed to pursue MD in hospital Administration despite being not eligible.
“Keeping a seat vacant for her as the six candidates who were allotted different streams, none of them, was permitted MD Hospital Administration. This puts a serious question mark on the SKIMS administration,” sources said. Sources said that favors for Dr Shifa didn’t end here. She was picked up as a deputy medical superintendent in 2012.
“Even during probation she was favored by holding many important positions in administration in SKIMS Medical College Bemina ( JVC ) even though many correspondences from Accounts section of the college indicating financial Irregularities under her control remain unattended to,” sources said.
The story didn’t end here too. In order to enumerate a few “blessings” on the blue eyed officer, director, SKIMS, Dr. Zargar as allegedly asked her to hold charge of many departments including Legal Coordinator SKIMS MC Bemina, Estate Officer SKIMS MC Bemina, Warden Girls Hostel SKIMS MC Bemina, Public Information officer SKIMS MC Bemina, Officer I/C Manifold SKIMS MCH Bemina, Transport Officer SKIMS MC Bemina, Medical Officer I/c stores SKIMS MC Bemina, Officer I/c Laundry SKIMS MCH Bemina,
“The sad affairs of this Institution are evident from the fact a gazetted cadre officer appointed more than 12 years back too was deprived to work at his place and his charge too (Officer In-charge Medical Records) was given to Dr Shifa,” sources said.
Pertinently, earlier Dr. Zargar himself was holding charge of some ten departments Viz: Director SKIMS& Ex Officio Secretary to government, Principal JVC Bemina, HOD Gastroenterology (Now retired), Medical superintendent Trust Hospital, Chief of Materials Management SKIMS, Joint Director SKIMS, Soura, HOD Community Medicine SKIMS Soura & JVC Bemina, HOD Urology till High Court admitted a PIL no. 22/2013 and Dr. Zargar later transferred charge of few departments to some of the other officials.
It is humanly not possible to hold charge of more than half a dozen departments. This leads to inefficiency and loss of productivity.
Dr Shifa was appointed to the post of Deputy Medical Superintendent in 2012 vide order dated 24th MARCH 2012 despite some senior candidates in the fray.
“Since Dr Shifa had managed more than one MD Degree on a single entrance exam, she was given benefit of the same by the selection committee whose member secretary was director, SKIKMS, Dr Showkat Zargar himself,” a staff member, wishing not to be named said.
“Dr Shifa appointed in SKIMS Medical College Bemina in 2012 is virtually running the whole affairs of the College and Hospital ignoring senior people appointed way back in 1999 due to the patronage of bosses in SKIMS, Soura who are treating this Institution as a Colony,” sources in the hospital revealed.
Pertinently we earlier reported that the primary tertiary care SKIMS- a government of India recognized deemed university has been running by clerks or junior officials as the varsity is without fulltime Registrar-cum-Controller.
Officials told this newspaper that prestigious Medical Institute cum Deemed University is in the hands of junior officials who deal with sensitive issues like selection of candidates for various courses including Post-Doctoral courses (M.Ch, DM), Doctoral Courses (PhD), Post Graduate (MD, MS), DNB, PG Diplomas, PG Tech, Nursing, Graduate Courses and Diplomas and conducts examinations of MBBS, MD, MS, DM, M Ch, Ph D and undergraduate and postgraduate courses of nursing and paramedics.
Talking to this newspaper, Deputy Medical Superintendent, SKIMS Medical College, JVC, Bemina, Dr Shifa Adeeba termed the allegations “baseless”, saying that after MCI guidelines she surrendered her one degree (MCH). “This is completely a malicious campaign against me,” she claimed.
Asked on what grounds she was offered MD in Hospital Administration, she replied.
Senior faculty and Dean SKIMS Deemed University, Dr Gul Javed chose not to comment on the issue.
Despite repeated attempts Director SKIMS, Dr Showkat Ali Zargar couldn’t be contacted for his comments as his mobile phone was continuously on a switched off mode.
Minister for Health and Medical Education, Chaudhary Lal Singh told that the crisis-hit primary tertiary care Shere-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) was a “big problem” for the government.
“SKIMS is in a complete mess,” the minster told this newspaper. Singh said that he has been receiving many complaints about the “administrative faults and mismanagement.”
“You will soon find some massive changes in SKIMS because Government won’t allow any callous approach of its administration to ruin this institution,” he said.
He said he could only comment on the issue once he gets information from the concerned quarters and SKIMS officials. “I will have to look into the mess,” he said.