Bihar’s premier government hospital, the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), kicked up a row by asking its new recruits to declare if they are “virgins” or married but later dropped the word and replaced it with “unmarried”.
Amid the furore over the issue, the health minister, however, sought to explain away the gaffe, saying that the meaning of the word virgin in dictionary was ‘kunwari’ or unmarried which was not objectionable.
The marital declaration form given to the new recruits had asked them to declare whether “he/she was a bachelor/widower/virgin”.
The form also asked the male recruits to mention whether they had only one wife or more.
“After the matter came to my notice I ordered to delete the word ‘virgin’ from the form and in its place write ‘unmarried’ which is a standard practise,” Health minister Mangal Pandey told PTI today.
Earlier, while talking to a private TV channel, he said, “I saw the dictionary for the meaning of virgin and found that in Hindi, it means Kanya, Kuwari or Kanya Rashi which are not objectionable…But seeing the widespread opposition, I got the word deleted and replaced it with unmarried.”
Talking to PTI, IGIMS director N R Biswas confirmed having replaced the word “virgin” with “unmarried” in the form.
The minister said upon enquiring from the authorities at the IGIMS, he came to know that the declaration form was the same as that of the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi and was being used for the past 33 years.
The IGIMS had adopted the AIIMS format since its establishment in 1983 and was continuing it for the past 33 years before it came to light and created a furore.