NEW DELHI: A recent decision by the National Medical Commission to reduce the ceiling for non-medical teachers in medical colleges and even doing away with their appointment altogether in few subjects has sparked fear of job losses by such faculties in various parts of the country.
In the “Minimum Requirements for MBBS Admission Regulations 2020” released by the newly established medical education regulator last month, the permissible intake of non-medical faculty has come down from 30% to 15% in anatomy and physiology, from 50% to 15% in biochemistry, and from 30% to 0% in microbiology and pharmacology.
The Teachers Eligibility and Qualifications guidelines of the previous regulator Medical Council of India on the other hand allowed higher intakes of non-medical teachers to teach pre and para clinical subjects to first and second year MBBS students.
While teachers who teach the clinical subjects in medical colleges are always doctors with MBBS and MS/MD degrees, there are also some teachers--about 5-6,000 in the non-clinical subjects with medical MSc or PhDs who do not have MBBS degrees, their designations ranging from tutor to professor and even head of departments.
The practice of such appointments, for teaching pre and para-clinical subjects started in the 1950s when not many doctors were pursuing PG in non-clinical specialties. Now, the commission has said that the new guidelines would be applicable only to the new colleges that would admit students into the 2021-22 batch but added that the new guidelines would also apply to those medical colleges that would seek raised intake of MBBS students.
“This means that a non-medical teacher would be forced to stay put in the same college until retirement, and all possibilities to seek new employment in any college, whether new or old, would be denied,” said Sridhar Rao, president of the National MSc Medical Teachers’ Association.