Non-medical teachers demand rolling back of National Medical Commission hiring guidelines

National M.Sc Medical Teachers’ Association president P.N. Sridhar Rao said the new guidelines would prevent upward movement of faculty in pharmacology and microbiology.

The National M.Sc Medical Teachers’ Association (NMMTA) has represented to the Union Health Ministry and the National Medical Commission (NMC) to withdraw the new guidelines on appointment of candidates with M.Sc/Ph.D degrees as teachers in medical colleges.

The association has termed it academic apartheid and want a rollback of the guidelines issued by the NMC.

The Medical Council of India’s teachers eligibility and qualifications guidelines stipulated that persons with M.Sc/Ph.D qualifications could be appointed as teachers in five non-clinical specialities to the extent of 30% (50% in biochemistry) of the total faculty strength. The guidelines were introduced in the 1960s to tide over the lack of qualified faculty to teach core non-medical subjects.

While the draft released for public feedback by the NMC was in tune with the MCI norms, in the final gazetted notification, the permissible percentage was halved to 15% in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. It was completely removed in the case of some disciplines, such as pharmacology and microbiology.

The new norms will come into effect from academic year 2021-22 for new medical colleges and ones seeking to increase MBBS seats. Appointment in old and new medical colleges for the subject domain will also be as per the new norms, according to the NMC.

Association president P.N. Sridhar Rao said the new guidelines would prevent upward movement of faculty in pharmacology and microbiology. Also, hundreds of such teachers across the country appointed on tenure or contract would suffer.

“They will have to remain in the same college until retirement or be sacked or forced to leave. With no other prospects, these faculty could be subjected to a variety of harassment and denial of opportunities, including promotions and salary hikes. This will be a serious human rights violation,” he said.

The association members said career prospects of over 1,000 students, who were pursuing the three-year medical M.Sc courses in 35 medical colleges across the country, had vanished even before they completed their courses. The association held a protest recently in New Delhi to reiterate its demand.

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