Mumbai: Grant Medical College may soon loose its status as a premier institution, as the Medical Council of India(MCI) has raised concerns about the irregularities prevailing in the appointment and promotion processes of the teaching faculties in two of its key departments. The apex body has forewarned that until these irregularities are resolved, post graduate admissions to both the departments would be considered illegal. The two departments where irregularities have been found are the Radio diagnosis and Neurology .
A five member panel of the Council, which met in Delhi on November 9, based on confidential reports, submitted by the Council Assessor on August 18 and August 29 has taken a decision to de recognize Grant College’s Radio diagnosis and Neurology departments. The decision has been taken because of ad hoc appointments and promotion of professors and associate professors in the two departments.
“If found unsatisfactory, it will result in stoppage of admission to the post-graduate course,” read the minutes of the meeting, chaired by Dr SB Siwach, Former Director, Pandit BD Sharma PGI, Rohtak.
“It is high time that the medical education department or state government intervened and resolved the issues within the institution, or else this premier institute will be left with no future,” said a former faculty member of the college.
The Post Graduate Education Committee on inspection has found eight ineligible professors in the RadioDiagnosis wing; right from professors to senior residents. The numbers in the Neurology department may be lower, but go till the top level too. In the latter case, a professor and head of department have been found ineligible for the post. The lacunae found is that the professors lack the required years of teaching experience, or have not generated the adequate number of research papers in national and international journals.
“How can a professor or associate professor who has not published any research papers become the guide for post-graduate students and introduce them to research methodology and expect them to submit their research thesis? Where are we headed towards?” questioned a senior doctor, who has been with the college for four decades.
MCI rules call for faculty members to have adequate years of teaching experience, as well as published enough journals to qualify as associate professors or higher. Grant Medical College however, has been found appointing faculty based on the no of years a person has been a practicing doctor, instead of looking at his teaching experience, revealed a senior official of the Ministry.
Faculty and students in other departments of Grant Medical College are also diminishing. “Earlier, the number of post-graduate seats across departments were more than 200, but this figure is now falling drastically. Today, the number of PG seats for Radio Diagnosis and Neurology at Grant Medical College is 3 and 2 respectively, which is far lesser than other medical college run by the Corporation or private colleges,” said a doctor.
Also, despite being in existence for the past 30 years, the departments of Nephrology and Gastroenterology are yet to be recognized by the MCI as there is no eligible teaching faculty or department head. A similar situation prevails in the Paediatric Surgery department , which has no teaching faculty and the Department of Medicine, where both professor posts lie unfilled, according to a doctor.
Dean, Grant Medical College and JJ hospital,Dr. T.P. Lahane, in an attempt to justify added, “We have sanctioned posts for the present academic year. The compliance concerns raised by MCI are for academic year of 2017 and it is an ongoing process. We will submit the required documents and MCI members will once again conduct the scrutiny and will regularize the same.”
“These are all-India findings and not merely subject to Grant Medical College. In my institution, only two departments have been mentioned by the MCI committee, whereas 12 departments in KEM, 4 departments in Nair, 7 departments in LTMG and 3 departments in Terna medical colleges have fallen short of compliance.”
Dr. Pravin Shingare, Director of Medical Education and Research, commenting on the cancellation of admissions for the year 2017 told the press, “The notification on the minutes approved by the Medical Council of India is awaited. This means that the existing PG students in either of the departments will not be affected. However admissions for the academic year 2017 will be stalled for the two departments, until and unless the concerns raised by the committee are resolved by Grant Medical College.”
Dr Kalidas Chavan, Registrar of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik speaking about the future of post graduate students said, “If the MCI committee has come across some compliance deficiency in the recruitment, then it needs to regularized by the institute by making necessary submissions, which is an ongoing process and won’t have any impact on PG students at this stage.”
The MCI has granted the college four weeks for regulation compliance.