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Medical Education in Maharashtra on the verge of collapse

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Mumbai: Dismal response to last month's advertisement for the post of professors and associate professors at the government-run Grant Medical College and JJ Group of Hospitals shows that medical education in the state is on the verge of collapse, thanks to lack of seriousness at all levels.

While six posts of professors attracted just two applications-both for dentistry department-there were seven applicants for 46 posts of associate professors-none of them for any key department.

An ex-medical college dean said the response may have been poor since the posts were to be filled up on a contract basis and for a fixed salary. "We offer Rs 40,000/month for associate professors and Rs 50,000 for professors. I don't think any medical teacher will take up a job for such meagre pay. It reflects the casual approach of the medical education department.''

Medical Education in Maharashtra

He warned that the medical education department was on the verge of collapse due to lack of consistency in recruitment policy and if immediate steps were not taken some medical colleges may get de-recognized due to non-compliance to Medical Council of India-prescribed conditions.

Elaborating on his contention, the former dean said last year the cabinet decided to withdraw all the teaching posts from Maharashtra Public Service Commission's (MPSC) purview on the grounds that there was an inordinate delay in the recruitment process.

Since the decision, not a single teacher has been appointed. Now, there is a proposal to entrust the task again to MPSC. "Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis must fix responsibility for the mess in the medical education department. Frequent changes in policies have had an adverse impact on the department," he said.

On the vacancies, the former dean said in the past five years, no serious effort had been made to fill up posts in 14 medical colleges across the state. Out of the 362 posts of professors, 122 lay vacant while out of the 934 posts of associate professors and 1,434 posts of assistant professors, 468 and 862 posts are to be filled. "The condition of assistant professors is very bad. Out of the 1,434 posts, 669 work for 29 days a month and their term is extended on a monthly basis,'' he said.

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