IAS officer Bhupinder Kumar is NHM director

His appointment ends row over post

The state government has appointed an IAS officer as mission director for National Health Mission (NHM) in J&K to end a row between two senior officials of the health and medical education department over the position.

The general administration department issued an order appointing Bhupinder Kumar, IAS officer, as mission director NHM. He has also been given additional interim charge of director health services Jammu till a permanent arrangement is made. Kumar was working as additional chief executive officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board.

Both health department officials, Dr Mohan Singh and Dr Yashpal Sharma, had approached High Court, staking claim to the post. The Court, in turn, recently directed the government to take a call on the issue, observing that the government had the competence to pick either of the two or appoint someone else.

Consequently, the government’s highest decision making body, the State Administrative Council on Thursday cleared Kumar for the post.

According to NHM guidelines, a mission director must be an officer with ‘sufficient expertise in handling funds for meaningful interventions’ through the program referred to as “financial window” for healthcare.

Previously, the Government of India had asked state governments to post an officer as NHM director who has worked in field and handled various assignments like district development commissioner, director to acquire sufficient expertise in handling funds, preparing plans and implementing various government schemes.

Dr Singh was posted as mission director NHM on 21 August 2015. On 23 March this year, he was directed to report to administrative department for further posting and Dr Sharma was posted in his place.

However, Dr Singh challenged the order in the court through a writ petition and got it stayed. The order posting Dr Sharma as director was consequently kept in abeyance.

Later, Dr Sharma also approached the court in July this year to challenge the abeyance order issued by the government regarding his posting. The court, while clubbing the two petitions, disposed them of last month and left the state government with powers to appoint the director.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir government Thursday ordered that Mohan Singh, upon his transfer as mission director NRHM, shall report to Health and Medical Education department for further posting.