Anuja Jaiswal, TNN | Jul 3, 2014,

RAIPUR: In yet another recruitment fiasco, Chhattisgarh health department has appointed 494 doctors (medical officers) at various health centres across the state without checking their credentials.

The hasty drive, apparently undertaken to fill the mounting vacancies, has resulted in recruitment of some ayurveda and homeopathic practitioners as MBBS qualified doctors. Nearly two weeks after issuing the posting orders, the department has now started verifying their degrees and other credentials, including their marksheets.According to sources, the department had issued posting orders for these doctors on June 10 after inviting online applications. Various attempts earlier made to fill these vacancies had failed.

As per the advertisement issued by the department in January this year, the minimum qualification required for medical officers (MOs) was MBBS or equivalent degrees. The salary grade was fixed at Rs 15,600- Rs 39,100 + grade salary Rs 5,400 + payable sanctioned allowances. All appointees were to be placed on a two year probation. The total number of vacancies advertised was 709.

Sources said when this mistake was pointed out to the officers in charge, they hurriedly issued a notification on June 17, a week after issuing the posting orders, asking all appointees to get their credentials verified between June 19 and 27. The fate of the verification drive was however not known immediately.When contacted, health commissioner Pratap Singh admitted the mistake and said that all wrong postings would be cancelled. He claimed that the fiasco happened because of the official handling online advertisements. “We had issued two separate ads for MOs and other practitioners but unfortunately it was mixed up and a common list was sent to the government for approval,” he said. Interestingly, the department issued a fresh notice on June 25 inviting candidates for the post of MOs.

If sources are to be believed, response to latest order hasn’t been very good as less than 150 people turned up for verification of their documents.