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MoH receives over 10 applications for VC posts at three health academies

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Jan 11, 2017- The Ministry of Health (MoH) has received more than 10 applications for the posts of vice-chancellor of three health institutions.

The applicants have also submitted their work plans.

The applications were received on Tuesday, a day before the deadline. 

For the first time, the MoH had sought applications to fill the vacant posts of vice-chancellor at Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Karnali Academy of Health Sciences and Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences.

Patan Academy of Health Science and Karnali Academy of Health Sciences have been without vice-chancellors for over six months.

Pratap Poudel, personal secretary to Minister for Health Gagan Thapa, said the MoH’s call for applications was part of its move to institutionalise competency-based selection while appointing the vice-chancellors at varsities. “That’s why work plans were also sought along with the applications from those who want to serve the varsities as the vice-chancellors,” he said.

The MoH move breaks the earlier trend of governing directly appointing the vice-chancellors at the varsities, and more often than not, such appointments used to be political.

The government recently endorsed a guideline on appointment of officials at various units under the MoH, including the health institutions.

According to the guideline, candidates must have master’s degree in medicine and should be a professor or should have worked at the MoH or its units at the 11th level or equivalent to apply for the post of vice-chancellor. “This guideline will ensure transparency in appointments,” said Poudel.

A three-member committee headed by Minister Thapa, also the pro-chancellor of these institutions, which has Dr Senedra Raj Upreti, health secretary, and Dr Geeta Bhakta Joshi, a member of the National Planning Commission, will pick the vice-chancellors for these academies.

The process to appoint vice-chancellors in these academies is set to start at a time when the government is struggling to appoint vice-chancellor at Kathmandu University.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is yet to appoint VC at KU even though five names were recommended on Friday.

According to sources, Health Minister Gagan Thapa is under pressure from PM Dahal to appoint persons close to the Maoist Centre at Karnali Academy of Health Sciences and Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences. These two institutions are set to start massive procurements in coming years, the sources added.

The post of vice-chancellor at Patan Academy of Health Sciences has remained vacant since August 23 last year after Dr Sangita Singh Bhandari completed her term.

The Karnali Academy of Health Sciences has been running without the VC after Dr Paras Acharya’s tenure ended in May 25. The government is appointing vice-chancellor at Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences, which was established in 2015, following pressure from Dr Govinda KC, who has gone on hunger strikes several times demanding one medical institute in each province.

The government is also planning to form a committee to appoint VC at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) after tenure of Dr Bala Bhadra Das ended on Janaury 4.

Published: 11-01-2017 08:21

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