A lot has been said about the recent cash-for-nursing job scam but nobody sees the whole picture. Since the district-wise recruitment for nurses started this year, I have closely witnessed the student nurses’ complaints and frustration with the recruitment. There has been a lot of nepotism in the recruitment process in every district. After the results were declared, many nurses commented on FB that the process was already fixed.
Most complained that the seats were already fixed by politicians and the health officials of the respective districts (not a single seat left for merit). Some examiners were helpful towards certain student nurses in the exam hall and they gave them the answers too. No matter how good a candidate’s practical was, their marks wertr be subpar, while a candidate who had good political or official contacts would score full marks in the practical, despite earning very few marks in theory.
Another complaint is that the marks are not declared with the final result. Also, a candidate in one of the districts had been given 45 marks out of 40 in practical. Later, it was changed to 40 after the issue was raised. The district authorities termed it a printing mistake.
In another district, there were 31 candidates for nine posts, and only nine candidates qualified for the practical instead of the norm, which is 1:3 ratio, ie, 27 candidates.
In the recent exam for nursing held at the TRIHMS, a total of 278 candidates were selected for the interview/OSCE instead of 150 for 50 posts. I was not surprised when candidates having fewer marks were selected in the TRIHMS too, as the practical marks were too good for them.
I have personally seen some nurses giving 2-3 DWQ nursing exams and saying that they would do anything just to get the job – to the extent of giving bribe by selling their land, if that got them the job. They have no political or official contacts, and they have lost hope after seeing the first DWQ nursing result. They are aware of all those who have been selected through nepotism, and they have also claimed that not a single candidate qualified by merit.
This nepotism and corruption could have been minimized if the NHM had given directions that the final result should contain both written and practical marks. Also, the NHM authorities could increase the marks for the written exam to eight times of the practical marks, ie, keeping the marks at a ratio of 1:8. The better solution would be to keep the practical marks qualifying in nature to check nepotism in practicals.
I hope the NHM authorities probe the whole DWQ nursing exams in each district for nepotism and set up a hotline number or Google Docs page for complaints related to the recruitment. The NHM authorities will find complaints from many if they are given a chance to register complaint anonymously.
A frustrated Arunachalee