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Nitin Gadkari’s move on med college linked to wife raises eyebrows

The Times of India logo The Times of India 22-03-2023 Sumitra Debroy
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MUMBAI: Union minister Nitin Gadkari's letter seeking the transfer of medical education secretary Dr Ashwini Joshi, who exposed discrepancies in the functioning of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, has raised questions of conflict of interest now. Documents have emerged revealing that Gadkari's wife, Kanchan Gadkari, is serving as an advisor to a recently established association of CPS Affiliated Institutes.

Ever since Gadkari shot two letters to CM Eknath Shinde and chief secretary Manukumar Srivastava alleging that Joshi was stalling admissions to nearly 1,100 CPS seats, questions have been raised about the union minister’s interest in the matters of medical education. His letter, written on March 9, also criticised Joshi for disrupting the smooth functioning of the medical education department (MED). “This revelation (about his wife serving in the advisory board) certainly sparks concerns regarding the minister's impartiality in resolving the CPS controversy,” said a senior official.

While Gadkari’s office said the minister didn’t wish to comment on the matter when TOI contacted him on Wednesday, office bearers of the association confirmed that Kanchan Gadkari was on their advisory board.

Despite Gadkari attaching the association’s letter with his March 9 application to Srivastava and the chief minister stressing why CPS courses need to start immediately, Dr Parekh claimed that the association did not approach him directly. TOI has learnt the management is likely to face more scrutiny. Dr Parekh said the solution cannot be shutting down a 110-year institution.

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