After Court rebuke, Govt starts hunt for new GMC Principal

With the High Court quashing the appointment of Prof Samia Rashid as principal Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, State government set the process rolling for selection of a new principal for the medical college on ‘regular basis’ by writing to establishment cum selection committee regarding the requirement.

Principal secretary to Government, health and medical education, Atal Dulloo said that establishment cum selection committee of the State has been communicated the “urgent requirement” for a new principal following directions by the court. “We have written to the Committee to begin the process of selection for a new principal for the medical college. It is expected to start soon,” he said. He added that a meeting with the committee was in the offing. “We are following Court directions and a new principal on regular basis would be selected soon,” he said.

He further said that the selection would be made on the basis of merit-cum-seniority. “Principal’s is a selection post and both merit and seniority are taken into consideration together,” he said.

The High Court had quashed the appointment of Prof Samia Rashid as principal GMC Srinagar on 14 March and directed concerned authorities to place relevant records regarding the decision before the State Administrative Council. The directions had been passed in the case of Dr Javed Chaudhary, who had contested appointment of Prof Rashid claiming he was the senior-most candidate and therefore most eligible for the appointment.

On 3 May, Government had produced an order directing Prof. Kaiser Ahmed Koul, head of the pediatrics department of GMC Srinagar, to take over as officiating principal till further orders.

An official in health and medical education department said that the process for appointing new principal for the medical college will be completed within two months as Prof Koul is set to retire this June. “The chair will fall vacant again in June and Government would want to avoid the situation in such a scenario,” he said.

Meanwhile Prof Koul took over as the principal on Saturday, this being his second stint on the post. He was appointed as principal GMC Srinagar in December 2015 after Prof Rafeeq Ahmed Pampori resigned from the chair in protest against Government decisions that were ‘deteriorating the institution’. His previous stint lasted over a year. Prof. Rashid had been appointed as principal medical college in April 2017 by State cabinet headed by then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, based on the recommendations of establishment cum selection committee. The committee had recommended five candidates, the senior most faculty members of GMC for the post – Prof Javid Chaudhary, Prof Kaiser Ahmed (then In-charge Principal), Prof Parvez Ahmed Shah (HoD Medicine), Prof Showkat Jeelani (HoD Surgery) and Prof Samia Rashid (Medicine).