Govt banks on academic arrangement for new medical colleges

While scores of faculty positions continue to remain vacant in the new medical colleges, Government has been banking on academic arrangement, a short-term arrangement to bolster the faculty strength before the first batch joins in.

A few months ago, health and medical education department in a bid to secure the letter of permission for taking in the first batch of MBBS, engaged 26 faculty members on academic arrangement.

The move proved fruitful with Medical Council of India according permission to four of the five newly established medical colleges of the State.

However, although the permission was granted, an official in the department said, a considerable number of faculty positions continued to remain vacant and the Government had to give an undertaking to the medical education regulatory body to fill the vacancies on fast-track.

In the last week of June, Government issued an advertisement for GMC Rajouri, allowing doctors from health department to apply for some vacant faculty positions. However, no such advertisement was issued for other medical colleges of the state facing shortage in various disciplines.

An administrator of these colleges said that sans the relaxation, which government had called “one time” earlier this year, faculty posts would remain vacant across these medical colleges.

Consultants working in the directorates of health services of Jammu and Kashmir divisions, with no prior experience of teaching but at the same time fulfilling certain criteria were allowed to apply for the senior faculty positions in new medical colleges beginning this year, first time in history.

Although, the lateral entry of consultants as faculty was allowed by Medical Council of India across the country, in J&K the government further relaxed the rule allowing the doctors in district hospitals to apply.

As per MCI, the relaxation could apply to doctors having work experience in a 300-bedded hospital. None of the district hospitals in J&K has 300-bed strength.

A delegation of aspirants alleged that the government had given a special concession to hospitals like district hospital (DH) Anantnag, DH Baramulla and JLNM Hospital while ignoring consultants working in other hospitals. “This selective criterion apart from other criteria of MCI left scores of disciplines without associate professor and professors and this is a legal fraud,” said an aspirant who was part of the delegation.

The delegation demanded re-advertisement of the vacant positions and filling up on permanent basis.

They said re-advertising and subsequently allowing the consultants of health services to apply, would discourage academic arrangement and save the career of hundreds, while benefitting the medical colleges in the longer run.

Financial Secretary Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said the government was not planning to extend the onetime relaxation for any new recruitments in GMC Anantnag, Baramulla and Kathua.

“The relaxation was just for Rajouri college and may be we will have it in Doda as well as these colleges had very poor response to direct recruitments and academic arrangement,” he said.

He said the government was getting “very good response” to academic arrangement for faculty positions. “For entry level positions we are having direct recruitment though and we are moving quite well,” he said.