In relation to the recent exam conducted for the position of Staff Nurse Cadre on February 28, 2021, the United Nurses Association (UNA) has reported malpractices and mismanagement in a letter to the Health Minister of Maharashtra, Rajesh Tope dated March 2, 2021. The severely critical letter highlights the latest discovery of certain videos circulated on several social media sites that suggest incidents of malpractice during the examination. Following the highly controversial incident, several nurses have approached the UNA for redressal. Jibin TC, State President of UNA, Maharashtra has confirmed that the UNA has penned a letter to the State Government requesting an immediate investigation on the matter, or, if the situation demands, arrange for the exams to be re-conducted shortly.
In the widely publicized letter, the UNA has lauded the Maharashtrian government’s efforts to combat the casualties of the virulent COVID-19 pandemic, including prioritizing the vaccination of healthcare officials. The letter addresses the multiple misconducts that unfolded during the recruitment exam for the post of staff nurses. Emphasizing the mass apprehension induced by the delay of the exam, the letter stated that the candidates had filed their application in February of 2019, however, the exam was held as late as February of 2021. Moreover, the UNA highlighted the inconsistency of the questions asked of the candidates in comparison to the pre-existing official syllabus provided. It has been reported that most of the questions posed were not related to the topic of nursing, pertaining mostly to a singular topic, thereby suggesting the involvement of non-medico personnel in the process of question paper preparation. Furthermore, the UNA has mentioned the multiple videos being circulated on social media, which suggests that a handful of candidates were allowed inside the examination hall earlier than the stipulated timeline, while also being allowed to start their paper earlier than the rest.
Grave misconduct reported by the UNA involves the recruitment examination for the roles of Sister Tutors and Staff Nurses were conducted on the same day, thereby robbing several B.Sc Nursing and Post B.Sc Nursing candidates of their pre-paid examination fees as well as their opportunity to secure the position. The letter further highlighted the restrictions imposed on travel services nationally that posed an obstacle for the candidates who were assigned examination centers farther from their locality. The UNA attributes the misconduct and grave malpractices to the lack of training provided to the concerned examination supervisors in matters of management and proper conduct in examination halls. The UNA concludes the letter by demanding an immediate inquiry on the matter, and if found any mismanagement in these regards, subsequent legal proceedings. The UNA requests the Maharashtrian government to initiate the recruitment process for the post of staff nurses all across the state wherever it is sanctioned or vacant. The incident is extremely shameful and the UNA hopes for an immediate resolution on the government’s part.