Chennai (PB): Even after 3 years of formation to give a fillip to research and development in siddha system of treatment, research-oriented work is still a far cry in the Chennai-headquartered Central Council of Research in Siddha (CCRS), thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the senior officials in the Department of Ayush.
Squarely blaming the Union health ministry and the Department of Ayush for being indifferent in strengthening the research wing and the administration of the newly formed Council, the Siddha medical community in Tamil Nadu and a few number of technical and medical officers in the Council said that even after 3 years of formation the council is facing shortage of 19 posts of research officers (ROs) and around 100 posts of non-medical (technical) officers.
Only 13 out of 32 sanctioned posts of ROs have been filled so far in the central and regional councils. One research officer is going to retire shortly, they said.
When the council was formed, the department of Ayush had sanctioned 32 posts of research officers with one post in the central headquarter (Chennai), 21 in the Chennai regional office (Siddha Central Research Institute – SCRI), five in the Siddha Regional Research Institute (SRRI) in Pondicherry, two in the Siddha Central Research Unit (SCRU) at Palayamkottai, one in the Siddha Medicinal Plants Garden (SMPG), Mettur and two in SCRU, Thiruvananthapuram.
But now, only 13 ROs are working in all these centres including HQ. The shortage is hampering all the research activities of the central council which was started with a noble objective supported by the Siddha community in the state.
According to sources, the department had given advertisement in the media calling for applications for interviews, but no further process was initiated to fill the vacancies. Shortage of medical and technical staff is not only hindering the research work, but it thwarts the promotion of qualified officers to senior posts as well. There are eligible and well qualified persons in the department for assignment of senior technical and non-medical jobs, but no action is taken from the side of the head of the institute, sources complained.
They alleged that the director general of the Council was passive in taking actions and the administrative officer was controlling the entire department. Despite several complaints to the higher officials in the Ayush department in New Delhi, no positive move has come from the bureaucrats to strengthen the department, sources said.
CCRS was formed after bifurcating the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) in 2010 keeping in mind better researches and developments in Siddha system of treatment after years of non-development and regression in the field of Siddha.
Recently, a section of employees of the Council wanted the Union health ministry to shift the national office of the CCRS to the national capital as they were losing the benefits of all health schemes implemented for central government employees.