False: 64 percent of newly-appointed doctors in Assam are Muslims.

By: Chandan Borgohain
March 15 2023

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False: 64 percent of newly-appointed doctors in Assam are Muslims.


The Verdict False

An order issued to transfer 55 newly-appointed doctors has been misinterpreted64 per by some users. Only 34 percent of the new appointees are Muslims.

Claim ID 48bdab50


The last few years have seen a rise in communal tensions in Assam, the northeastern Indian state where ethnicity and land have led to most clashes historically. Misleading claims with sectarian undertones shared on social media platforms have often flared tensions between different groups in the state. One such social media post claiming that most newly appointed government doctors in Assam are from a religious minority has been doing the rounds on several online platforms for the last few days. Multiple users have shared the post, which includes a photo of a government notification, with the claim that the appointments of the doctors were made by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC). Social media users have shared the photo of the notification that purportedly includes a list of 55 recently appointed doctors, claiming that at least 35 doctors, constituting around 64 percent of the total, are Muslims. The claim was also shared by an account that appeared to be impersonating the official account of the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

The viral claim emerged online after a video of Badaruddin Ajmal, Member of Parliament and chief of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), surfaced recently. In the video, also shared by various Assamese news portals, Ajmal can be heard saying that Muslim youths were being denied jobs in Assam under the current state government. A Facebook post (originally written in Assamese) with the viral claim read: "Out of the 55 doctors appointed by the APSC, 35 are religious minorities. We have learned to stage agitation." Along with the list of doctors, the post has also shared a graphic by an Assamese news outlet. The graphic, which also has a photo of Ajmal, stated that the MP had alleged that the government doesn't provide jobs to Muslim candidates. 

In Fact

The official notification going viral with the claim is an order published by the health and family welfare Department of the Assam government and not by the APSC. While the order does list 55 names, out of which 35 can be assumed to hail from the Muslim community (an assumption made purely based on the surnames of the persons mentioned in the list), a closer look at the notification reveals that it is a list of doctors that need to be transferred and not an appointment list. On the list, to the right of the “Names of the Doctors” column are two more columns that indicate "Place of posting on Appointment" and "Modified place of posting." According to the text that precedes the list, the order was issued on February 23, 2023, to modify or change the place of postings of 55 doctors from their original postings mentioned in an earlier notification issued on January 19, 2023.

Logically found that the order issued on January 19 listed 541 newly appointed doctors, including the 55 doctors mentioned in the February 23 notification. After a quick study of the names of the 541 doctors, we found that at least 183 of them could be from the minority community (again, an assumption made purely based on surnames). This suggests that nearly 34 percent of the doctors appointed by the health and family welfare department could be Muslims. This is proportionate with the population of Muslims in Assam, estimated to be around 34.22 percent by the 2011 census. It should be noted that India does not reserve seats or support affirmative action for government jobs based on religion so far.

The Verdict

A viral claim has maliciously misinterpreted a regular transfer order to claim that 64 percent of the newly-appointed doctors in Assam are Muslims. However, the original appointment order shows that only 34 percent of the new appointees are from the minority community. Therefore, we mark this claim false.

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