Doctors and students from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities face discrimination at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, alleged a Parliamentary Committee, reported The Indian Express on Wednesday.

To prevent discrimination, the panel made several recommendations, including hiring doctors from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities and evaluating students without seeing their names.

The Parliamentary Panel on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes made the statements while scrutinising roles of autonomous bodies and educational institutions in the socio-economic development of the communities with a focus on AIIMS, Deccan Herald reported.

‘Hire SC/SC doctors’

The institute has 275 posts for assistant professors and 92 for professors vacant out of 1,111 positions. In its report, the committee said that the doctors from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes categories were not being appointed to the posts despite being eligible, competent and experienced.

The committee has recommended filling up the vacant posts by the next three months. “No faculty seat reserved for SC/ST shall be kept vacant for more than six months under any circumstances,” the panel added.

The committee told the Union health ministry that it was “not inclined to accept the frequently stereo-type reply of the Government” that no suitable candidate was found. It said that members of the reserved communities, who deserved the the posts, were declared unsuitable due to biased assessment.

It recommended forming a selection committee comprising experts from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities. “In fact, in order to solve these unfair assessments all students should be allowed to appear in exam using a fictitious code number only,” the committee said.

‘Biased grading system’

The panel also alleged that students from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were graded in a biased manner.

“It has been often seen that these students had invariably done very well in theory examinations but are declared to have failed in the practical examinations,” it said. “This clearly underlines the biases towards SC/ST students. This must be dealt with firm decision and that a suitable examination monitoring system may be developed to put an end to this biased practice.”

The dean of examination should scrutinise such cases for bias and submit a report on to the director general of health services.

It noted that the percentage of admission of these communities in MBBS, other undergraduate courses and also post-graduate courses in all AIIMS across the country was below the required level of 15% for Scheduled Castes and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes .

‘No SC/ST in AIIMS general body’

The committee noted that there were no candidates from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the AIIMS general body. This “deprives SCs/STs of their legitimate rights to be part of the decision making process and policy matters and also to protect the interests of SCs and STs in service matters”, the panel added.

The committee recommend that the health ministry and AIIMS should resolve complaints of the faculty members, employees and students from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.