A day after the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) in Patna stoked a controversy by asking employees to declare their virginity, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey on Thursday said there was nothing objectionable in this as he had looked up the term virgin and it translated to ‘unmarried girl’; reported Indian Express.  In a marriage declaration form, the medical institute asks an applicant to declare if he or she is “virgin”. The form also seeks to know whether one is a bachelor, widower or married with one wife.

“The word which is used is ‘virgin’. It means kanya, kunwaari… (unmarried girl, maiden). I don’t think these words are objectionable. But still this issue is being raised. I had a word with the officials of the IGIMS. They said this is the format of AIIMS and since 1983, it is being used in every organisation of the country,” Pandey was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

When questioned about the marriage declaration form, Manish Mandal, Medical Superintendent at IGIMS , had said, “IGIMS follows AIIMS which in turn follows CCS rules. Form is according to prescribed rules.”

Mandal had added, “Virgin doesn’t have anything to do with virginity but marital status. If a person joins in&then dies who would be claimant? Rules are made by the government and the Constitution. If they change the word, we will change it too.”

Mandal had, however, conceded that the use of “virgin” could have been avoided. He said the Central Services Rules have a provision that when a person joins a job and dies soon after, there may be a “boyfriend or girlfriend who can turn up with claim to get the job on compensatory grounds’’.

A Nurses Union member at AIIMS, Delhi, said employees are not asked to declare their virginity.