MoS accuses Health Secy of blocking projects

Last Updated: Saturday, July 3, 2010 - 00:04

New Delhi: Minister of State for Health
Dinesh Trivedi today accused Health Secretary Sujatha Rao of
creating hurdles in the path of his "dream" project for a
dedicated medical portal, a charge she rebutted saying the
process for it has already been set in motion.

The creation of the portal had been announced by Trivedi
along with National Knowledge Commission chief Sam Pitroda in
November last year.

Trivedi said that around two months back, there was a
meeting of all the stakeholders, including Health Minister
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Pitroda, National Informatics Centre
Director General B K Gairola, UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani and
around 80 young graduates from universities like Harvard.

"There were seven joint secretaries sitting there (at
the meeting), nobody said anything then. Around 15 days later,
Sujatha Rao said she is not being able to understand anything,
so she wants to go to Nandan Nilekani," he said.

According to Trivedi, when he told Rao that Azad was on
board with the project, she reportedly told him, "what does
the minister know".

When asked if he had spoken to Azad on this issue,
Trivedi said he had not done it as the Union Minister was
abroad. "Azad had given the sanction. I have nothing against
any individual," he said.

"At least talk to the experts, try to understand. You
reject it, but before that go through the process. Suddenly
you just throw it out. My duty is only to try," he said.

"It was one of my dream projects. We had more than 80
college kids from Harvard and India working on it, The concept
paper had been prepared by Sam Pitroda and the project was
supposed to be implemented by the NIC," he said adding that
the whole idea was to put everything on record.

Rao, who is in Bhopal, said "day before yesterday, the
minister had called a meeting to discuss the issue and I read
the proposal and told him that this has to go to the Planning
Commission first and then to the Finance Ministry...I said the
minister (Azad) cannot approve it as it has to be approved by
the Finance Minister first.

"For this a concept paper is not enough and we have to
make a memorandum and I told the minister that a committee has
been formed which will submit the proposal in 10 days".

According to Rao, the meeting ended on a very cordial
note and Trivedi agreed to the proposals.

"I do not know what his problem is now. There is no
question of rejecting it," she added.

The Secretary, however, said that no country in the world
has this kind of a portal and it would be a very
technologically superior project for which the approval of the
Planning Commission was needed.

Trivedi had yesterday said that the bureaucracy was
engaging in red-tapism. "If you have all these young kids of
India, who have just graduated from the colleges and
universities, if you give them the Health Ministry then they
can run it much better than the bureaucracy," he said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 3, 2010 - 00:04

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