New Health service bill @ West Bengal

KOLKATA: The West Bengal assembly on Wednesday passed the West Bengal State Health Service (Amendment) Bill 2011 amid a walkout by the opposition, paving the way for appointment of medical teachers directly, without any reference to State Public Service Commission.

The state government wanted to start two new medical colleges in the Malda district and Kamarhati in North 24-Parganas, for which more faculty members would have to be recruited to meet norms of the Medical Council of India. To expedite the process, direct recruitment was necessary, it was stated in the objects of the bill.

The opposition parties did not oppose the provisions of the bill. Opposition leader Surya Kanta Misra said it was difficult to find medical teachers and the process of direct recruitment was necessary to meet the shortage. Even the previous Left Front government had made similar amendments in the past on a few occasions.

But, the government on May 27 this year had promulgated an ordinance with similar provisions, without placing the ordinance before the assembly within the stipulated period of six months, Misra said.

The opposition parties walked out on this ground, describing this process as “unconstitutional.” Parliamentary affairs minister Subrata Mukherjee said, however, that the bill was given retrospective effect from May 27, 2011, to cover the period of the ordinance. and there was nothing irregular about this.

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