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Health Minister Aware Of CHO Recruitments: Sharma

Dr Samit Sharma, who was recently transferred from the post of mission director (MD) National Health Mission (NHM) to labour department, claimed that health minister Raghu Sharma was aware about the recruitment process of community health officers (CHOs). He added that charges of corruption levied against him are baseless.
It is for the first time when Dr Sharma spoke up openly after his transfer and denying charges claiming that he has falsely been implicated in corruption charges. He has demanded independent inquiry into it.

“I have denied the charges. I am ready for any inquiry. The case should thoroughly be probed by an independent agency. I am a public servant and corruption charges have been levied without even a single complaint registered against me. I am ready to pass through ‘Agni Pariksha’ to prove that not even an iota of corruption has been done on my part,” said Dr Sharma.

Health minister Raghu Sharma had recently alleged that without his notice, Dr Sharma had initiated recruitment of CHOs. Suspecting corruption in recruitment process, he had immediately stopped recruitment process. “The minister was fully aware of recruitment process of 2,500 CHOs. He himself had tweeted the news from his personal twitter handle. The issue was also discussed informally and in a meeting on June 10 all pending NHM recruitments were discussed. Ministers are busy people so it is quite possible that he might have forgotten,” said Dr Sharma.

Divulging more details on CHOs’ recruitment, he said that the recruitment process was started when the Centre approved NHM Program Implementation Plans (PIPs) on January 15. Finally, government of India issued financial and administrative sanctions on January 31. Thereafter, the approval was done by executive committee of state health society chaired by additional chief secretary (health) on April 26. “There was approval from Election Commission of India too as posts were advertised when model code of conduct was in force. The process was completed by issuing a public notice on May 16 for fair, impartial and transparent recruitment,” he said.

However, he pointed out that he had never said in any interview that he had committed a mistake by initiating recruitment process and has said sorry to anyone.

On health minister complaining that he had not received recruitment file, Dr Sharma said, “As per the MoU between the government of India and the state government under NHM, there is no role of health minister and in this instant case the model code of conduct was in force, so in no case the file could have been sent to the minister. Until and unless amendments in rules are not made, there is no role of minister in such mission.”

He said that working of missions launched by the Centre is different from departments. The working is on mission mode. In NHM the execution is done by the state health society which comprise of governing body heading by chief secretary and executive committee headed by principal secretary (medical and health) and they are delegated various administrative and financial powers as per the rules of business. – TOI