Srinagar: The J&K government is mulling to amend rules so that new medical colleges coming up in the region can appoint retired faculty members on administrative posts.
According to official sources, the government is considering issuing a regulation for the appointment of retired doctors as administrators through academic arrangement for new medical colleges, so that Medical Council of India (MCI) recognises these colleges for different medical courses especially MBBS.
The government has already relaxed the age limit for retired faculty members to be appointed under academic arrangement basis. The retirement age has been kept as 70 years for them.
“The issue of recruitment was discussed threadbare in the recently held coordination meeting for new medical colleges. Officials including principals of new medical colleges proposed that retired faculty members should be given administrative posts, so that daily affairs are handled without any hassle,” an official privy to the meeting told Kashmir Reader.
He said a written proposal had also been sent to Commissioner/ Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department, last week seeking relevant amendment in SRO 24.
The SRO 24 issued on January 10, 2019, is for the appointment of staff on academic arrangement in new medical colleges.
“The proposal has invoked a MCI rule which states that the department or unit has to be headed by a person not below the rank of a Professor or Associate Professor,” the official said.
As per the existing SRO, the faculty members engaged shall be put on teaching/ research duties and shall not be assigned any administrative posts like principal, head of department, and head of unit.
However, the condition is believed to be in contrary to MCI norms.
Head of department and Head of unit are not administrative posts. They have no administrative powers like drawing and dispersal powers, no transfer/ appointment powers unlike administrative heads like principal.
Officials said these designations were given to the senior-most professor/ associate professors purely on honorary basis, without any monetary benefits.
“They have to run day-to-day working of the department/ unit in a disciplined manner, for better patient care and teaching programmes. There is no post of head of department/ head of unit sanctioned in government rules,” said an administrator.
The proposal sent to Commissioner/ Secretary Health said that the conditions of not assigning headship were incorporated in SRO 384, so as to avoid an HOD superannuating and again claiming headship on contractual reappointment, in presence of another senior Professor (regular) due for the same in natural course. This state of affairs prevails in GMC Jammu, where there are more than one professor/ associate professor due for the same post.
“Such a condition would discourage the senior Professors and Associate Professors to join the new Medical Colleges, as I have been conveyed that they will not like to work under a junior, freshly appointed Assistant Professor (regular) after being retired as Professor/ Associate Professor and that would also be not acceptable to MCI,” the proposal said.
“In view of the above situation, if found suitable, a corrigendum to SRO 24 may be issued, that clause mentioned in para 3 of page 6 will not be applicable to New Medical Colleges (Anantnag, Baramullah, Doda, Rajauri and Kathua) till further orders,” officials proposed.
Dr Yashpal Sharma, Director (coordination) for new medical colleges, acknowledged that the proposal is under consideration.
“We will amend rules if we don’t get eligible persons from the regular faculty coming through lateral entry,” he said.