550 medical faculty submit mass resignations as Medical Officers made equivalent to Medical Teachers
Jaipur: The medical faculties across Rajasthan stood up against the government’s March 7 controversial order which was seen making medical officers equivalent to medical teachers.
It is reported that desperate to find a way to address the shortage of medical faculties in the state government medical colleges, the Rajasthan Government came out with the order that made medical officers equivalent to medical faculties. In particular, the order was seen re designating junior specialists as assistant professors, senior specialists as associate professors and principal specialists as professors.
The order was immediately met with strong opposition from medical teaching faculty across the state who stated that the proposal would fall through once faced with the Medical Council of India’s stipulation for medical teachers for college recognition. Sawai Man Singh College emerged, a leader of sorts, on the issue with approximately 500 teacher’s resigning 'en masse' from their posts on Wednesday. They planned to intensify their agitation, if the government directive was not withdrawn. Medical College teachers in Kota Ajmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur joined the agitation, giving it a state wide character.
The teachers under the umbrella of Rajasthan Medical College Teachers Association (RMCTA), further alleged that the March 7 order which made medical officers equivalent to medical teachers, amounted to giving a lateral entry to them into the teaching line. 'The use of the word ‘equivalent’ is misleading the people,' they had further added.
RMCTA Secretary, Dr Dhananjai Agarwal attributed this government move to their need to deploy faculty members in the 8 upcoming medical institutes by replacing them with medical officers, as faculty members. It is reported that the Vasundhara Raje government is coming up with colleges in Bharatpur, Churu, Alwar, Dungarpur ,Barmer, Bhilwara, Pali and Sikar and the academic session is expected to start from 2017-18.
“If eligibility and experience of these medical officers are made ‘equivalent’ to medical teachers and seen from the perspective of MCI guidelines, then things would become very clear whether this decision is right or not,” he had informed.
The response from the teaching faculties was so vehement that the government was soon forced to nullify the order having conceded to their demands after a four hour long meeting held, on Thursday, headed by the Health Minister, Kalicharan Saraf. "The government's new directive states that the new order will not be implemented in the existing seven government medical colleges. But, it will be implemented in the new medical colleges coming up in different districts, " said RMCTA Secretary, Dr Dhananjai Agarwal.
RMCTA, Senior Vice-President, Dr RK Jain informed the TOI, "A society will be formed which will be engaged in recruitment of teaching faculties in the new government medical colleges. In new medical colleges, the medical officers can apply and through the process, they will get appointment as per their qualification and experience, this is what the government has assured us. "
“We showed him the guidelines and norms of Medical Council of India and told him that the council will not recognize the colleges, where medical officers take up the job of teaching, and students will be in soup.” Mr. Yadav President, Rajasthan Medical College Teachers Association (RMCTA) had told the HT.
Medical teachers are covered by the Medical Education Department in Rajasthan, and the doctors fall under the Health department. While medical teachers are designated as assistant professor, associate professor and professor, doctors hold the posts of medical officer, junior specialist, senior specialist and principal specialist.