Talk of unfairness grows as principal’s wife appears twice in appointment list
Srinagar: A Kashmiri doctor, currently an associate professor working at the King Fahd Medical Research Centre of the King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia has written a letter to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti seeking her attention towards the appointment over him of candidates he alleges are under-qualified for the post of Biophysics lecturer at SKIMS medical college.
Ishfaq Ahmed Sheikh, who holds a PhD in Biophysics from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and is a post-doctorate from Ohio University, USA, wrote to the Chief Minister on 18 October 2017 after SKIMS had released the names of the candidates shortlisted for an interview for the post of Biophysics lecturer.
The letter has appeared on social media as questions have been raised over the issuing of appointment orders of 11 lecturers in several departments by the interim Director SKIMS, Dr Omar Javed Shah, who signed the orders on January 11, minutes after he was appointed the Institute’s Director.
Several aspirants have raised questions about the orders’ fairness as the name of the wife of the Principal SKIMS (Bemina), Dr Reyaz Untoo, appeared twice in the list. Untoo was one of the panelists during an interview, and his wife’s name appears in the list at serial numbers 4 and 5.
Sheikh in his three-page letter to the Chief Minister claims that he had first applied for the post of Biophysics lecturer after SKIMS published an advertisement in October 2013; however, no interviews were conducted afterwards. “I am writing this letter with deep anguish regarding my application for lecturer position in Biophysics (Advertisement Notice No. (03) SKIMS MC of 2013 dated 14-10- 2013) at the SKIMS Medical College, Bemina, Srinagar. I applied for this position in 2013 but no interviews were conducted,” reads the letter.
The letter said that SKIMS had re-advertised on 16 May 2015, with an addendum that the candidates who applied for the post in 2013 need not resend their application. “I received no official communication from SKIMS until November 2016 regarding my application. In November 2016, SKIMS administration contacted me requesting experience certificates which I e-mailed to Principal SKIMS on 5 Nov 2016 to his e-mail address,” Shiekh said adding, “Again no communication was sent from SKIMS to me until year 2017. In 2017, this position was advertised again with a major incomprehensible change that for the Biophysics position, candidates with physiology background can also apply.”
Sheikh added that SKIMS advertised the posts once again in 2016 with a note that candidates who had applied in 2013 need not apply afresh. “I submitted my updated resume in support of my previously submitted application,” Sheikh said in the letter.
Sheikh said that he was shocked to find his name among the disqualified candidates on the hospital’s official website. “The reason for my disqualification mentioned on SKIMS website states that I don’t have tutor/demonstrator experience from MCI recognized institute,” reads the letter adding, “In the list of eligible candidates, there are only two names, both have physiology background and one of them is already working as Lecture Physiology, Government Medical College, Srinagar.”
Sheikh said that he was shocked and appalled beyond words and fails to understand the logic for his ineligibility as he has more than 5 years of experience as Assistant Professor and has published more than 30 research papers in highly prestigious international journals like Journal of Biological Chemistry, PLoS One, BMC Structural Biology, etc.