Major boost to medical education in J&K
Will help remove shortage of senior faculty in GMCs
JAMMU, Apr 23: The Government of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) today framed rules for appointment of ‘Visiting Faculty’ on part time basis in the Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) which will give a major relief and boost to the medical education in the UT by removing shortage of senior faculty in new and existing medical colleges.
Thee rules called ‘Jammu and Kashmir Medical Education (Appointment of Visiting Faculty) Rules’ have been framed with the objective of enhancing the comprehensiveness and quality of teaching of both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students in pre-clinical, para-clinical and clinical departments by appointment of additional faculty called ‘Visiting Faculty’ on part time basis.
“The Visiting Faculty shall be eligible for appointment for a period of two years in the first instance, which shall be extendable for another year as per the requirements or till the available vacancy is filled up under rules,” said a notification issued today by Health and Medical Education Department, J&K. It further said that these rules shall be applied only to the teaching posts of the level of Professors and Associate Professors in GMCs.
According to the notification, the maximum age limit to apply for Visiting Faculty is 67 years and the engagement of a person as Visiting Faculty shall by itself terminate on the attainment of 70 years of age. It further said that posts of Visiting Faculty shall not exceed 50% of the sanctioned posts of Professors and Associate Professors in any discipline.
As per the notification, the selection of candidates for the posts of Visiting Faculty shall be made by a selection committee comprising Administrative Secretary (Health and Medical Education Department as chairman and Principal of the concerned Government Medical College, Administrator Associated Hospitals, Srinagar/ Administrator Associated Hospitals, Jammu and an expert in the concerned discipline to be nominated by the Government, as members.
“The honorarium of Rs 10,000 per day will be paid to the Professors and Rs 8,000 to the Associate Professors, engaged as ‘Visiting Faculty’ for a maximum period of ten days in a month,” it read and added that Visiting Faculty will be assigned only teaching responsibilities and would not be involved in the administrative work of the Department.
Sources said that under the Centrally sponsored scheme “Establishment of new Medical Colleges attached with existing referral/district hospitals” of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, five Medical Colleges have already been established at Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua and Rajouri.
They said after successful inspection by the Medical Council of India (MCI), followed by recognition, admissions for 100 MBBS seats each have been made in Medical Colleges Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua and Rajouri during the academic year 2019-20 but the Government Medical College Doda could not pass the inspection test of MCI for admissions during the academic year 2019-20, mainly because of the shortage of senior faculty.
“Two more Medical Colleges at Udhampur and Handwara have been sanctioned under this scheme by the Ministry and the proposals regarding creation of posts for these two Medical Colleges are under consideration,” they added.
Sources said that the new GMCs have a three tier faculty structure of Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors, and the posts of Assistant Professors in these colleges are the entry level posts. “In the draft Gazetted Service Recruitment Rules, it has been proposed that an Assistant Professor having a minimum 4 years teaching experience shall be eligible for promotion to the post of Associate Professor and an Associate Professor having a minimum 3 years teaching experience shall be eligible for promotion to the post of Professor. Thus an Assistant Professor who has been appointed in the year 2019 shall become eligible for promotion to the post of Associate Professor in the year 2023 and for promotion to the post of Professor in the year 2026. However, these Medical Colleges cannot wait till such time for having in position the requisite faculty at the level of Associate Professors and Professors,” they added.
Availability of required faculty always remains a challenge in the Medical Colleges for various reasons, sources said, adding, despite having been established way back, the GMCs Srinagar and Jammu have been facing the shortage of faculty since past and to mitigate this problem to some extent, the Jammu and Kashmir Medical and Dental Education (Appointment on Academic Arrangement Basis) Rules came into existence in the year 2009.
“With the establishment of new Medical Colleges in J&K, these rules were completely revamped and revised rules were issued vide SRO-24 of 2019 dated 10-01-2019, which proved very helpful in addressing the shortage of faculty at various levels. Further, in pursuance of MCI Amendment Notification No.MCI-12(1)/2017-Med.Misc/169950 dated 22-01-2018, some senior faculty of the level of Associate Professors and Professors were appointed in the new GMCs as one time absorption by way of lateral entry of faculty members of Medical Colleges (Srinagar/Jammu) and Senior Consultants/Consultants of Health Services Department,” sources said but regretted that despite all these efforts, availability of faculty at senior levels remained a concern.
They said that with a view to enhance the comprehensiveness and quality of teaching of both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students in pre-clinical, para-clinical and clinical departments, the Board of Governors in supersession of Medical Council of India, vide Notification No.MCI-12(2)/2019-Med.Misc./172844 dated 16th of December 2019, issued the ‘Minimum Qualifications for teachers in Medical Institutions (Amendment) Regulations, 2019’.
Jammu and Kashmir Medical Education (Appointment of Visiting Faculty) Rules notified today is follow up of these regulations of MCI, sources said, adding the creation of such a provision for the Medical Colleges of J&K shall go a long way in addressing the shortage of faculty at senior levels which has always remained a challenge.