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Success for Dr Singh, but other physically challenged doctors still in lurch

New Delhi: India Medical Times in a news story dated November 8 covered how Dr Satendra Singh, a disabled doctor, was rejected twice by the UPSC to apply for the post of Assistant Professor of Physiology, a post on which he is already working in a government medical college.

Dr Satendra Singh

The online application of Dr Singh was rejected for the post of Assistant Professor (Physiology), which was recently advertised by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), vide Advertisement No. 16/2013. As per the advertisement, the post has not been identified suitable to be manned by doctors with disabilities.

After the rejection of his online application, Dr Singh approached the union health ministry with a written complaint.

On November 11, he also met the chief commissioner for persons with disabilities and submitted his official representation with a copy of his complaint to the secretary, health and family welfare.

In what could be seen as a quick response, he received a fax on the same day from the ministry of health directing the UPSC secretary to accept his candidature.

However, it also came to notice that the exception was made only for Dr Singh, while the posts are still remain closed for other persons with disabilities. The discrimination on the part of the UPSC towards disable candidates still continues.

Though feeling only a little relaxed by the action taken by the health ministry, Dr Singh is not at all contended.

Dr Satendra Singh, assistant professor of physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) and Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, New Delhi, told India Medical Times, “They have allowed me but what about other disabled candidates? Both the advertisements have posts where disabled doctors cannot apply. Why can’t they call all eligible candidates? Disheartened, I have written again to the Honourable Court (Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities) to instruct the UPSC to allow all the eligible disabled doctors, as well as to remove the discriminatory proforma where disabled candidates have to post photograph showing their disability.”

Feeling dismal about the state of affairs at the UPSC, he added, “Dr Suresh H Advani, a recipient of Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan, was denied admission into Grant Medical College in 1965 since he had polio. The doctor in wheelchair became the first oncologist in India to do a successful bone-marrow transplant. Dr Mary Verghese, paraplegic as a result of accident, reconstructed her life, and became a fully qualified rehabilitation specialist performing operations from a wheelchair. I did MBBS and thereafter MD successfully. There is no DM in Physiology else I would have applied for that also.”

As the news brings a ray of hope for Dr Singh, it again leaves a big question about the vague process of selection still followed by the UPSC.

by Vidhi Rathee

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