Fate of CNO candidates in limbo

[ Amar Sangno ]

ITANAGAR, Sep 25: The fate of 50 contractual nursing officer (CNO) candidates who had been selected after appearing for the competency-based skill test (CBST) or the objective structured clinical examination from 20 to 23 August is still in limbo.

The selected candidates have repeatedly demanded that the National Health Mission (NHM) director verify their original documents and issue appointment orders.

Amid the pandemic lockdown, the NHM had floated an advertisement for the posts of 50 CNOs on 17 June, as the health department was running short of manpower and nurses. The written examination was conducted on 18 August.

After the CBST, the result was declared on 24 August on the basis of merit, and the selected candidates were directed to come with their original documents on 1 September for verification before issuing of their appointment orders.

However, after just three days of the declaration of the result, the Papum Pare district unit of the All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA) alleged that there were gross irregularities and anomalies during the examination, and demanded re-advertisement of the posts and re-conducting of the examination in a fair and transparent manner.

Jolted by the allegation, Health Secretary P Parthiban constituted a five-member inquiry committee, led by Joint Health Secretary Mamta Riba, in early September to unearth the facts.

When contacted, Parthiban said, “There was allegation by ANYA, Papum Pare unit that there were some irregularities in the selection of 50 candidates. We ordered an inquiry led by Joint Secretary Health Mamta Riba and four other members. They submitted their report on 7 September, which was submitted to the minister before I came on leave.”

Sources in the health department informed The Arunachal Times that the inquiry committee found that the evaluation process for the 50 posts was not followed properly and it cannot be rectified. According to the health dept sources, the inquiry committee has suggested re-conducting the examination.

When this daily sought confirmation, Health Minister Alo Libang did not comment on the inquiry committee’s recommendation.

The recruitment of CNOs had already been marred by malpractice in Lohit HQ Tezu in August, resulting in the special investigation cell of the vigilance department arresting three persons, including the DRCHO, in August.