Minutes after joining as the interim Director of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Dr Omar Javed Shah issued an appointment order of 11 lecturers whose selection has raised eyebrows.The appointment of lecturers in various departments of SKIMS Medical College, Bemina, has raised questions about its fairness as the wife of an interview panelist and Principal of the institution appeared twice in the selection list.The appointment order, a copy of which is with The Tribune, has been issued by Shah on January 11, the same day when during evening hours, he was appointed as the head of the Kashmir’s premier health institutions.
The dropped candidates have questioned the timing of the order as well as the appointment of the wife of the Principal, SKIMS Medical College, Srinagar, Dr Reyaz Untoo.They allege Untoo was a part of the interview panel of SKIMS which appointed the lecturers for various posts in the institution he is heading.Untoo’s wife, Dr Mumtaz Gowhar, who appears at serial number 4 and 5 in the selection list, has been appointed as a lecturer in physiology as well as in biophysics departments.“He (Untoo) paved the way for the appointment of his wife as a lecturer and for one of his junior colleagues, who works at his private ophthalmology clinic at Kaksarai in Srinagar. He had a conflict of interest which made him ineligible to be a part of the interview panel,” the dropped candidates said.
Unlike other selection bodies of the state, SKIMS has not revealed the weightage of marks in the interview and neither it has revealed the numbers of marks received by the dropout candidates.They allege that former Director AG Ahangar had refused to sign the “unfair appointment order” of lecturers, which became one of the reasons for his removal from the post on January 6. When asked what prompted him to issue the appointment list on the same day of his appointment as the SKIMS Director, Dr Omar Javed Shah said the selection list of lecturers was pending for a long time. He said the dropped candidates should approach him if they had any complaints regarding the selection list.The phone numbers of Reyaz Untoo were switched off and he could not be reached for comment.