RIMS professors challenge `faulty` seniority list

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By Paojel Chaoba

IMPHAL, July 28: A seniority list of the employees of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences to be purposed to the Union Health Ministry is presently under heavy debate.

The list due to certain entanglement in service terms and conditions has not been furnished as of yet despite the Ministry demanding the list at the earliest.

In the regard, a notice was sent to the deputy director (Administration)of RIMS on April 27 last. It was a letter forwarded by the under secretary of the Government of India , Murari Lal Sharma to the deputy director urging that that the finalization of the seniority list should be completed at the earliest. The letter gave a time limit of one month to finalize the list, i.e. by May 2015.

Followingly, a seniority list was then later drafted based on the controversial `Time Scale Promotion scheme 1991` by the incumbent director- in- charge, Prof. S Rita Devi on May 28 last. However, due to the complaint raised by many professors of the Institute,the list was kept on hold by the director herself. Later, an order from the Director came out to re-examine the list, according to order number B/2243/2005-RIMS made on July 16 last- a Scrutiny Committee comprising of three professors was constituted to examine the objections raised by the professors to the Time Scale Promotion and also in regard to framing the seniority list. The committee was to submit its recommendations then by July 25. 2015.

The Committee responsible for evaluating the seniority list consists of Prof.W Gyaneshwar Singh, Dean of JNIMS as Chairman; Prof. Ng Brajachand Singh, Dean of School of Medical Sciences, Manipur University as member and Prof. Ak Joy Singh, Dean of Academics (RIMS) as convenor.

But, the function ability of the said Committee was also questioned afterwards by incumbent senior professors of RIMS . The main point of contention being the debated Time Scale Promotion of the Institution. According to the standing `Time Scale Promotion Rules and Regulations` which serves as a guidelines for RIMS employees, those employees who have been appointed to Professorship under the said Time Scale Promotion are not supposed to be regular appointees of RIMS . They are supposed to be junior to those who are holding the Ministry sanctioned regular post.

In the regard and to quote a section of the rules, the excerpt is as follows mentioned in the regulations. i.e.: 1) Time Scale Promotion (TSP) is a flexible complimentary scheme and wherein no additional posts are created. 2) TSP doesn`™t offer perquisites at par with other appointees in the grade and only offers a marginal adjustment to the pay. 3) If a professor promoted under TSP retires, expires or leaves the job, the post which the incumbent was holding will cease to exist and revert back to the earlier post, i.e. associate professor.

In simpler terms, there is a total of only 29 sanctioned posts for regular professors at RIMS. RIMS have now at present 13 regular sanctioned professors and a following vacancy of 16 professors. However, the TSP which was introduced in 1991 to `remove discontentment and frustration due to lack of opportunity for promotion in normal courses`™ allows the appointing authority to upgrade 22 % of total regular posts of associate professor to the `grade`™ of professor which is reflected also only in the pay scale. It means to say that there is only a limited number for post of the sanctioned professor of a department in RIMS, for example, Anatomy -1, Biochemistry-1, ENT-1, Medicine-4, etc. which totals to 29 sanctioned posts by the Ministry. But, the other associate professors have to wait for either the senior regular appointed officer to leave, retire or expire to become a regular sanctioned professor.

Hence, the Time Span Promotion is being introduced in 1991 to remove discontentment and frustration among the teachers and officers in the institute however without altering the number of the 29 posts sanctioned by the Ministry. But, the terms given by the Ministry on the seniority status mentions that `Seniority of the employees of the Institute in each category shall be determined by the order of merit in which they are selected for appointment to the grade in question; those selected on earlier occasion being ranked senior to those selected later, provided that the inter-se-seniority of employees other than the teaching staff of the Institute shall be determined by the length of continuous service of post in a particular area.

The questions which is put up by some professors to the Health Ministry and RIMS director is – what is the fate of the regular appointed persons who comes under the sanctioned 29 posts? As those who are promoted under the TSP which have no sanctioned post rules outmaneuvers the sanctioned senior ones. It appealed that the seniority of the faculty is not respected and appointing the Director in charge of RIMS on the last two occasions were the juniors being picked up.

The RIMS senior faculty decries that the TSP regulations has overrode the sanctioned norms and moreover been ignored by the Health Ministry at large. The concerned professors appeals that proper judgment be carried out without favoritism and with regard to aforesaid rules and regulations.

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