NMC agrees to ease TEQ norms for non medical teachers
New Delhi: Following the directions of the Central Government, the National Medical Commission has agreed to reinstate some sections of the TEQ 1998 and opened the gateway for employing 30 to 50 per cent Non-Medical Teachers like before. This effect is however subjected to the outcome of the pending court cases in the Delhi High Court.
Issuing a recent notice in this regard, NMC mentioned, "In compliance of the above-mentioned directions issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare vide order dated 03.01.2022, the provisions regarding percentage of non-medical teachers/number of faculty in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Bio-Chemistry would continue as per the Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998."
As per clause 2 of Schedule-l of TEQ 1998, "2. In the Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Microbiology, non-medical teachers may be appointed to the extent of 30% of the total number of the posts in the department. A non-medical approved medical M.Sc. qualification shall be a sufficient qualification for appointment as Lecturer in the subject concerned but for promotion to higher teaching post a candidate must possess the Ph.D. degree in the subject. The Heads of these departments must possess recognized basic university medical degree qualification or equivalent qualification. However, in the department of Biochemistry, non-medical teachers may be appointed to the extent of 50% of the total number of posts in the department. In case of the paucity of teachers in non-clinical departments relaxation up to the Head of the Department may be given by the appointing authority to the non medical persons if suitable medical teacher in the particular non-clinical specialty is not available for the said appointment. However, such relaxation will be made only with the prior approval of the Medical Council of India. A non-medical person cannot be appointed as Director or Principal or Dean or Medical Superintendent. In the department of Community Medicine and Pharmacology, Lecturer in Statistics and Pharmacological Chemistry shall possess M.Sc. qualification in that particular subject from a recognized University."
However, referring to the fact that the order of the Central Government has been challenged before the Delhi High Court by the All India Pre & Para Clinical Medicos Association, NMC clarified in its notice dated 29.03.2022 that the provisions regarding percentage of non-medical teachers would be "subject to outcome of pending Court cases in the matter."
Medical Dialogues had been reporting about the issue concerning the appointment of non-medical teachers in non-clinical medical specialties. According to the erstwhile Medical Council of India's Teachers Eligibility and Qualification Guidelines, candidates with medical M.Sc/Ph.d qualifications could be appointed as teachers in five non-clinical specialities to 30% extent (50% for biochemistry) of the total faculty strength.
Back in 2020, after NMC took over MCI, it had released a draft regarding Minimum Requirements for Annual MBBS admissions Regulations, 2020. The draft which was released initially for public feedback was along the lines of MCI norms. However, the finalized notification released through a gazetted notification on October 2020 halved the permissible percentage to 15% in Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry and completely removed for Pharmocology and Microbiology disciplines, which affected the Medical M.Sc/Ph.d community.
The gazetted notification on 28th October 2020 by NMC stated, "In the department of Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, non-medical teachers may be appointed to the extent of 15%of the total number of posts in the department subject to non-availability of medical teachers. The above mentioned non-medical teachers and the Statistican in the department of Community Medicine should possess qualification in that particular subject from a recognized university as per requirements in Teachers Eligibility Qualification Regulations."
This resulted in a 65% reduction in Biochemistry, 50% in Anatomy and physiology, and 100% in Microbiology and Pharmacology. The reasons for such a move are thought to be the availability of sufficient medical teachers and the introduction of the new MBBS curriculum.
However, the amendments brought by NMC were heavily criticized by non-medical teachers and students pursuing MSc courses. Demanding immediate rollback of the guidelines, teachers and students had converged at Jantar Mantar under the banner of the National M.Sc Medical Teachers' Association (NMMTA) as a part of the nation-wide protest against the sudden reduction in the percentage of non-MBBS teachers. Raising slogans denouncing NMC, the teachers and students had sought Health Ministry's intervention in the matter.
NMMTA had also submitted a memorandum to the Health Ministry seeking a rollback of the guidelines along with the fulfilment of many other demands. NMMTA had approached NMC in an appeal on 28.02.2021 under the provisions of the NMC Act, 2019. However, NMC in a letter dated 26.07.2021 had informed the association that the appeal was disposed off subject to the pending case in Delhi High Court. The apex medical regulator had also indicated that and appeal could be filed to Central Government under section 9(6) of NMC Act, 2019 against the decision of NMC.
Following this, Dr. Sridhar Rao, the president of the association had approached the Central Government in an appeal dated 07.09.2021 under section 9(6) of the NMC Act. He had pointed out how reducing the number of non-medical teachers is an arbitrary decision. The second appeal responded to the second appeal in favour of the association and restored the previous MCI norms.
After considering the documents and submissions made by NMMTA, the Central Government opined that "NMC may continue to adopt the old pattern of permissible percentage of non-medical teachers for the time being subject to outcome of the pending court case."
Following the relief order issued by the Central Government, now the National Medical Commission has also issued a public notice in this regard and mentioned, "In compliance of the above mentioned directions issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare vide order dated 03.01.2022, the provisions regarding percentage of non-medical teachers/number of faculty in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Bio-Chemistry would continue as per the Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998."
However, NMC also clarified that the relief order dated 03.01.2022 by the Central Government has been challenged before the Delhi High Court by the All India Pre & Para Clinical Medicos Association in W.P. (C) No. 1607 of 2022.
Mentioning that the matter is pending before the High Court, NMC clarified in the Public Notice that the provisions regarding percentage of non-medical teachers/number of faculty in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Bio-Chemistry would be "subject to outcome of pending Court cases in the matter."
To view the NMC notice, click on the link below.