Following a representation by the All India Drugs Control Officers’ Confederation (AIDCOC) raising anomalies in qualification clause, the Sikkim Public Service Commission (SPSC) has cancelled the advertisement published in newspapers inviting applications from diploma and degree holders in pharmacy to recruit Inspector of Drugs (Drug Inspectors) in the state Drug Control department.
The SPSC had published the advertisement on December 2 with 31st of this month as the last date for filing online application. The minimum qualification mentioned in the advertisement was ‘Class XII passed from a recognised board with Diploma/Degree in Pharmacy from a recognised institute. The Commission published the advertisement for filling up the two vacant posts of drug inspectors.
According to AIDCOC, the qualification criteria prescribed by PSC does not find place in Rule 49 of the D&C Rules 1945. As per the rules, the qualification for drug inspectors includes only degree in pharmacy or pharmaceutical science or medicine with specialization in clinical pharmacology or microbiology. The drug control officers argue that no other degree or equivalent degree can be considered appropriate for the purpose of Rule 49.
Ravi Uday Bhaskar, secretary general of AIDCOC, who wrote the letter to the PSC chairman urging him to review the clause concerning minimum qualification, while talking to Pharmabiz said the basic qualification for Drug Inspector is degree in pharmacy (B Pharm). In his letter he said the qualifications and experiences stipulated in the advertisement were not the same as prescribed under Rule 49 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945 for drug inspectors.
According to him, the advertisement by Sikkim public service commission may defeat the very purpose of statutory requirements stipulated in the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules with respect to recruitment of drugs inspectors.
“The drug inspectors are to be appointed under Section 21 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 with qualifications prescribed under Section 49 of the D&C Rules 1945, as the powers vested with them under Section 22 of the D&C Act, and the duties and responsibilities prescribed under Rule 51 and 52 are enormous and are technical and legal in nature. The Rule 49 specifies that ‘a person who is appointed as Inspector of Drugs under the D&C Act should be a person who has a degree in pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences or medicine with specialization in clinical pharmacology or microbiology from a university established in India by law’.
Further, Ravi Uday Bhaskar informed the PSC chairman some incidences of quashing of recruitment made by governments of Delhi, West Bengal and Karnataka by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Kolkata High Court and the Karnataka High Court respectively because the appointments were made not as per Rule 49 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
When Pharmabiz contacted the Drugs Controller of Sikkim, the DC Dr. T K Rai said over telephone from Gangtok that it was a simple error and was rectified it soon after it was found. He said SPSC has cancelled the advertisement and a corrigendum was published in the local newspapers later. When asked whether the PSC has further called for applications after correcting the error, he said so far not.
As regards his departmental strength, Dr Rai said the number of vacant posts of drug inspectors is only two and it is the only sanctioned post. Recently two drug inspectors were promoted as Senior DIs, hence the positions became vacant. To another question, he said in Sikkim, there is no post of ADC, instead Chief Drug Inspector post is there and one officer is holding it at present. Unlike other states, Sikkim DCA has no deputy drugs controller and joint DC, said the DC.
Responding to questions on IPC, Dr Rai said the organizers of the 71st IPC have not invited any regulatory officers from Sikkim to the event, hence no representation from Sikkim will be there this year.