Friday, May 31, 2024
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MPSC examination results

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Editor,
Recently, the MPSC declared the result of the Preliminary Examination for the post of Meghalaya Civil Services which was conducted on the 4th November 2023 after a gap of only 1 month 11 days. The MPSC must be lauded for its efforts to quickly complete the process of scrutiny of the Preliminary Examination consisting of Paper I and Paper II. However, coming to the recruitment for the post(s) of LDAs in the Head of Departments (2020 & 2019) for which examinations were conducted much earlier i.e on the May 27, 2023 and May 13, 2023 consisting of only 1 (one) paper, till date the Commission has not been able to declare the results even after a gap of over 7 months. The inability of the MPSC to provide suitable candidates to the departments for up to 3 to 4 years for a single requisition not only deprives deserving candidates of early employment but also cripples the functioning of Government offices as they are under-staffed most of the time.
The slow nature of the MPSC has already led the Government to form the Medical Recruitment Board to quicken and complete the process for recruitment of Medical & Health Officers and similarly forming of a recruitment board for the Education department to quicken the process of recruiting teachers for the secondary and higher secondary schools is already in the process. Thus, a time may come where all departments will have their own recruitment board as they cannot wait 3-4 years for the MPSC to recommend candidates and the duty of the MPSC as mandated in the constitution to conduct examinations for appointments to the services of the state will soon diminish due to its incapability.
Hence, the Commission should follow the same principles as is being done with the MCS Preliminary exams to speed up the process of conducting examinations and declaration of results for other post(s) also.
Yours etc,.
Name withheld on request,
Via email

Why the indiscriminate bombing by Israel?
Editor,
Indiscriminate bombing by Israel in Gaza even on hospitals, schools and refugee camps killed over 21,000 Palestinians. Over 55,000 Palestinians including many children have been injured. In the song, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, Bob Dylan asked, “Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’til he knows that too many people have died?” This question is now blowing in the wind.
Over 8,000 children have so far been killed in the killing fields of Gaza. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres said, “Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being killed or injured every day.” Must we welcome the New Year with more dead bodies of children?
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,
Kolkata

Doctors’ rights and patient’s health both important
Editor,
Even if after the best efforts by a doctor the patient dies then in such cases the doctor should not be held responsible for the death of the patient. Doctors should be held responsible for ineptitude. However, there is a thin line between ineptitude and dedication of the doctor towards his/her profession. And it is also agreed that a sizeable segment of doctors bear the brunt of violence from patients’ families on charges of negligence.
No less than 5.2 million people die each year owing to medical negligence in India. Thus far, such apathy towards the lives of patients was treated as culpable homicide not amounting to murder. But the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023 has decriminalised medical negligence after the Indian Medical Association made a special request to the Union Home Minister in this regard. Registered medical practitioners will now face imprisonment for up to two years and a fine if medical negligence can be established.
An additional clause has been introduced if the person at fault flees or fails to report the incident, for which the BNS has set aside imprisonment of up to 10 years. It is encouraging that the IMA’s request to grant complete immunity to doctors has not been granted. Some checks are necessary when a life has been snuffed out. This country has seen the attitude of doctors some of whom were not performing their duties diligently during the pandemic.
But establishing medical negligence remains a challenge as it needs specialised and unbiased opinion and should therefore not be taken lightly. This is especially so in the case of medicine, which is a highly specialised and unpredictable field. It must also be remembered that this vagueness, a legacy of the Indian Penal Code, can be weaponised: Kafeel Khan, a doctor from Uttar Pradesh, had to fight a long battle to exonerate himself of charges of medical negligence levelled by the State.
Doctors, on principle, should be held accountable for their ineptitude. But there are two sides to the story. A good number of doctors bear the brunt of violence from patients’ families and others on charges —imagined or real — of negligence. Although there is no central legislation on this yet, 19 states in India have passed laws to protect healthcare workers and establishments from such unruly mob behaviour. The first such law was promulgated in 2007. Yet, not one single conviction has taken place since then
Violence against health workers adversely affects the quality of care they can deliver. The sincerity of health workers should not be in doubt unless proven otherwise. Moreover, punitive measures against medical negligence may not be enough to eradicate the malaise. Doctors in India are severely overburdened; this is bound to leave room for human errors. Further, the healthcare infrastructure in the country is beleaguered – India has a shortage of at least 2.4 million hospital beds — and, as such, doctors cannot be held responsible for the deaths that take place owing to the lack of facilities. The punitive response to medical negligence on the part of doctors should be thought through carefully. The rights of doctors matter as do the lives of patients. The crux of the matter is that doctors should carry on and must not fear prosecution unless gross negligence is proven on the basis of amended Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill. As mentioned above, there is very thin line between the negligence of a doctor and dedication of a doctor and the proverbial sĺip between the cup and lip. This was in evidence when the Union Home Minister’s assurance on the floor of the Lok Sabha was at variance with the actual amendment on the punishment for doctors in cases of death due to negligence. Amit Shah initially said,”If someone dies due to medical negligence by doctors it is treated as culpable homicide not amounting to murder. And he further said that he was bringing an amendment on that day.
Doctors have been exempted from punishment (under this section).The Indian Medical Association had requested (for the exemption)The amended Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (Second),2023, however did not provide that blanket exemption to doctors
Instead the amended Section 106 (1) specifies that a registered medical practitioner (RMP) shall be punished with imprisonment up to two years and a fine if convicted for medical negligence. In effect ,the punishment for doctors as specified under Section 304(A) of the Indian Penal Code that the BNSS replaces, has been retained
At the end of the day, doctors are expected to carry out their duties according to their conscience – to heal a patient and not be driven by other motives.
Yours etc.,
Yash Pal Ralhan,
Via email

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