Worried that a wrong precedence was being set by All-India Institute of Medical Sciences director Prof. R. C. Deka, who ordered re-examination of three failed students pursing their Doctor of Medicine in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Head of Department Dr. Suneeta Mittal has written to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad asking him to intervene in the matter.
“Being in the forefront of medical education, the Institute has a reputation to stand for and standards to set for others to follow. A re-examination in such an unprecedented and biased way on false, baseless and frivolous complaints after failure of some students is a mockery of a possible binary outcome of any examination and can call for a national debate. I would advise that instead of re-examination these candidates should be passed without any tests,” Dr. Mittal said.
The HoD in her letter said the Doctor of Medicine examination like any other post-graduate examination was conducted by a board of examiners comprising two external examiners of repute and seniority and an internal examiner from the department. The head of department as chairman only approves the evaluation as done by the other experts.
“The internal examiner in this case was the Institute director wife Dr. Deepika Deka who also expressed her concern over the poor performance of the unsuccessful candidates to all faculty members even before the final results were declared by AIIMS through a personal communication. The examination of these three students has been re-ordered by the director instead of looking into the reason as to why their performance was poor,'' said Dr. Mittal.
Dr. Mittal added that the department has already taken corrective measures after the poor performance of the students. “Also the possibility of any bias in evaluation of students by any examiner cannot be accepted since examiners do not see the unit to which the students belonged or their caste etc. Any such allegation is frivolous and cannot be accepted against the chairman of the exam or against the expert external examiners. And if any such bias would have existed, then it should be explained why students from the same unit and caste have passed also,'' said Dr. Mittal.
Stating that the entire episode of the students protesting against her and blaming her for causing mental harassment has been instigated by a person with vested interest. Dr. Mittal has urged the Union Minister to look into the matter and ensure that unjustified use of administrative powers at the cost of attempts to tarnish the reputation of the Institute was not allowed.