Several candidates who applied for the post of sports psychologists at Safdarjung Hospital here and appeared for interviews on Monday have alleged harassment by the hospital administration.

The hospital recently advertised for the post of sports psychologist for which walk-in interviews were held on Monday. About 15 psychology professionals attended the interview in response to the advertisement.

“Candidates were asked to report at 9 a.m. at the hospital for verification and scrutiny of certificates. After the scrutiny they were asked to wait outside the Medical Superintendent's office for interview. After waiting for more than three hours, several candidates were asked to leave stating that they were not eligible for the post. This reaction of the hospital authorities caused a lot of commotion and shock among the candidates,” said one candidate.

“Only three candidates were interviewed for the post out of the 15 who had come to the hospital. The worst part was that the hospital authorities offered no regret for making candidates wait and then later reject them on the basis of not having the diploma in medical and social psychology, notwithstanding the fact that most candidates had higher or equivalent qualifications and relevant experience,'' he added.

When a group of candidates whose names were rejected met the selection board members they were told that the hospital authorities were just following government's recruitment rules and that the psychiatrist on the board was the final authority on this post's selection.

Some of the candidates allege that the city has very few posts for clinical psychologists and diploma in medical and social psychology is not offered in or around Delhi, putting psychology students (even with a Ph.D. and a clinical specialisation from Delhi University) in the dock.

The candidates have demanded to know from the Safdarjung Hospital authorities how a sports psychologist can be selected on the basis of having a diploma when there are higher degree candidates available, why were highly qualified and experienced candidates returned without any interview when all their documents had been scrutinised the same morning, and why was the age limit for this post kept at 45 years when the usual age advertised by Delhi Government is 35 years for assistant professors in clinical psychology.

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