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Culprits free, innocents charged

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

From the Nepali Press

Krishna Gyawali in Kantipur, 20 July

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has been interfering incessantly in medical colleges for the past three years.  It has filed cases even in trivial matters that should fall under the purview of departmental action, and overlooked gross violations of procedures. CIAA Chief Lokman Singh Karki has blatantly protected relatives with involvement in medical education, while persecuting rivals.

Case 1

The CIAA sent a letter to the Nepal Medical Council (NMC) on 26 July 2014. Shortly after, the medical education regulatory body hastily allocated the number of seats for each medical college. An investigation by the Health Ministry later found that the basis and procedure for determining the allocation had not been in accordance with the rules, and recommended action against the regulator. It even pronounced that the NMC’s decision to set aside 135 seats to Kist Medical College in Gwarko — which is partly owned by Balman Singh Karki, the CIAA Chief’s brother — was wrong.  None of the NMC members involved in the decision has been prosecuted.

Case 2 

Jyoti Baniya, an NMC member who protested the seat allocation to medical colleges, had a corruption case filed against him by the CIAA. Baniya went on to monitor Devdaha Medical College in Nawalparasi and suggested reforms. “The CIAA filed a corruption case against me because I protested the seat allocation,” Baniya said. The court later found the accused not guilty, as the CIAA could not furnish proof to back up its allegation.

Case 3

A team of private medical colleges held a secret meeting in Dhulikhel three years ago after a panel of experts submitted a report to the government regarding irregularities in medical colleges. The owners of private medical colleges were in trouble after the formula of one student for six beds was introduced, including a ban on fake faculty members.

Soon after, NMC proposed an amendment, through the Health Ministry, to its regulation, which was immediately passed by the cabinet. Six months later, a new provision was introduced that allowed one student for five beds, and even permitted teachers affiliated to one medical college to work in other medical colleges as well.

Case 4

Former Dean of Tribhuvan University (TU)’s Institute of Medicine (IoM) Rakesh Shrivastav resigned from his post earlier this year due to immense pressure from the CIAA not to implement the government’s decision regarding the tuition fee for admission to the IoM’s MBBS programme. Shrivastav had been appointed Dean after Govinda KC’s hunger strike in 2014 demanding reforms.

The TU has been unable to appoint a new Dean for months. A TU source said: “The vice chancellor couldn’t make up his mind about filling the post, after receiving phone calls from the CIAA and getting instructions not to do anything for now.” The CIAA had plans to punish some senior officials at the IoM before appointing a new dean, the source said. The controversial Karbir Nath Yogi is likely to be in the Dean’s seat after receiving the green light from the CIAA.

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