Saturday, July 8, 2017

Six new AIIMS struggling for Good Faculty

Six new AIIMS struggling for Good Faculty

SIX new AIIMS are struggling to fill vacancies, with the Union Health Ministry not too hopeful about getting the right candidates for the 1,285 posts this year. One proposal being considered now is to hire retired professors up to the age of 70 years on contract as faculty. Last year, a total of 1,300 posts were advertised for the AIIMS at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh. Only 300 were selected and just 200 finally joined. At his annual press conference last month, Health Minister J P Nadda admitted, “We are not getting good people. Hum chalis-chalis logon ko reject kar rahen hain (We are rejecting up to 40 people at a time).”

Each AIIMS received 600-800 applications on an average last year, which means only one in 14 applicants was found to be deserving and only two of three who were selected joined. The number of vacancies this year is only a little lesser. Bhopal has advertised 251 posts, Bhubaneswar 178, Jodhpur 204, Patna 253, Raipur 204 and Rishikesh 205. A total of 305 posts are sanctioned in each AIIMS, and the number of posts filled ranges from 55 in Patna, to 135 in Bhubaneswar.

Officials associated with the recruitment process at the Union Health Ministry and at the new AIIMS say the problems in getting qualified faculty are manifold. While the substantially higher salary structures in the private sector for specialities such as nuclear medicine and neurosurgery is one factor, making recruitment for senior posts like professor and additional professor extremely difficult, the other is the lack of facilities in the smaller centres where the new AIIMS have come up.

Elaborating on the proposal to hire retired professors on contract as faculty, a Health Ministry official said, “That way we may get good, competent people who have retired from institutes like AIIMS-New Delhi, and PGI-Chandigarh.”

While a professor at an AIIMS would get around Rs 2.12 lakh monthly salary including HRA, an additional professor is entitled to around Rs 1.91 lakh. In the private sector, depending on a doctor’s discipline and the demand for it, he or she can earn up to Rs 7-8 lakh, said the director of one of the six AIIMS.

Last year, AIIMS-Jodhpur advertised 200 posts, got 700-800 applications, and found only 70-odd good enough to hire, said Director Dr Sanjeev Misra. This year, for 220 posts, the institute has received a thousand applications and some 80-odd may finally be recruited.

“The response is very good, but we are clear we do not want to compromise on quality. That is why the selection process is stringent. We are looking for excellence in teaching and research because if we do not set standards high, it will become like any other medical college. Institution-building takes time, even AIIMS-Delhi took 60 years to reach its present standards,” Dr Misra said.

AIIMS-Bhubaneswar, with 135 of 305 faculty posts filled, is the best placed among the new institutes. Director Dr Gitanjali Batmanabane believes it is because people from Odisha want to go back there to serve it.

“It is more difficult to get faculty in disciplines that are in demand in the private sector, but our position is relatively better because people are keen to work for the state. I am hopeful of reaching 960 beds by the end of the year,” she said.

Source: Indian Express
National Medical Council and NEXT will soon be reality

National Medical Council and NEXT will soon be reality


  • The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, provides for an exit exam which MBBS graduates will have to clear to get practicing licences. (Licencing exam)
  • Once the law takes force, this exam (NEXT) will be used both as licencing exam and PG entrance exam.
  • GoM allows elected component in NMC. Nine of the 29 proposed members will be elected, while the rest will be selected

The Health Ministry has moved a Cabinet note on the Bill seeking to replace apex medical education regulator Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new and transparent body, the National Medical Commission (NMC).

The note was moved this Wednesday after a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley approved the draft Bill enabling forward movement in the area of medical education reform which began last year with the introduction of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate and postgraduate admissions.

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, sent for inter-ministerial consultations now, seeks to subsume the MCI in the commission which will have four autonomous boards tasked with conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessing and rating medical institutions, registering practitioners and enforcing medical ethics.

A revolutionary aspect of this Bill is an exit examination which all MBBS graduates will have to clear to get practicing licences. Called the National Licentiate Examination, it will be compulsory for medical graduates to clear for the purpose of grant of licence to practice and enrolment in Medical Register(s). The idea is to test the quality of the medical graduate.

This exam will also be used as NEET for postgraduate admissions, once the law takes force. As of today, CBSE conducts NEET UG and NEET PG for the purpose of medical admissions.

The new Bill contains an important diversion (from the original draft a NITI Aayog expert panel prepared earlier this year) the GoM is learnt to have allowed in respect of the manner of selection of NMC members.

The original NMC Bill which a NITI Aayog committee headed by its vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya drafted, argued against elections to pick members of the commission. This argument was in sync with the 92nd report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, which, while recommending the scrapping of MCI, castigated the MCI for electing its members. The committee said: “MCI system where the regulated elect the regulators is flawed.”

The new NMC Bill cleared by the GoM is learnt to have proposed an increase in the strength of commission members from 19 (originally suggested by NITI Aayog) to 29. The new Bill then says nine of the 29 NMC members can come through an election and the rest will be selected.

This change, sources said, followed overwhelming opinion in favour of some elected component in the NMC.

The Bill seeks to replace the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, after the parliamentary committee on health concluded that the MCI had become a corrupt body and had failed to fulfil its mandate. It was originally drafted by a committee set up by PM Narendra Modi and comprising PK Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to the PM; Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO; and BP Sharma, then Health Secretary. The PM had referred the Bill to a GoM for broader consultations in one of the Cabinet meetings earlier this year.

Source: The tribune

Thursday, June 8, 2017

SC quashed removal of institutional quota in BHU - AMU

SC quashed removal of institutional quota in BHU - AMU

The Supreme Court on Wednesday restored 50% institutional preference in admission to PG medical courses.

A Vacation Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, which had reserved its verdict on Tuesday, set aside the Allahabad High Court’s May 29 order quashing the 50% institutional quota in admission to PG medical courses.

After this order, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and government-run medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh can go ahead with counselling for admission to PG medical courses and fill up seats by June 12, the top court said.

Acting on a PIL, the high court had on May 29 allowed filling up the 50 per cent institutional quota seats in PG medical courses at BHU and AMU for students from any medical college based on their NEET ranking.

The top court’s order came on petitions filed by BHU and AMU, which had challenged the high court’s order contending it went against an earlier verdict of the top court as also Medical Council of India regulations that permitted them to fill 50% seats from their own institution. MCI had supported BHU and AMU, saying the high court misinterpreted the regulations.

On behalf of BHU, Additional Solicitor-General Maninder Singh had sought immediate stay on the high court’s order.

“The entire apple cart cannot be reversed by re-opening those 50 per cent seats for students selected through the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET),” Singh had said.

Singh had cited the top court’s verdict in the Saurabh Chaudhary case that laid down guidelines for PG medical admission and emphasised that only half the seats were to be filled through all-India quota. If the institutional preference for 50 per cent seats were done away with, what would happen to other premier institutes like the AIIMS and the PGI, Chandigarh, he added.

Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, representing AMU, had demanded stay on the HC verdict, saying some students had already been admitted by the university under the 50% quota. Out of 195 seats for PG medical courses in AMU, admissions against 149 were over and everything could not be reversed, he said.

Source: The Tribune

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Ms Kiran Bedi pushes for admissions to PG medical course

Ms Kiran Bedi pushes for admissions to PG medical course

Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi visited Centralised Admission Committee (Centac) office much to the surprise of officers there. She visited the office on the day of third counselling after receiving a number of complaints that self-financing institutions are continuing to reject demand drafts by candidates who went by the fee structure announced by the fee committee and the vacancy list has not been released on the Centac website for government quota seats.
She became furious identifying ‘glaring flaws in processes of seat allocations’ shouted at officers present there and asked them to immediately present papers related to seat allocation.

Knowing that 71 seats are still vacant under government quota for students who qualified Neet examination, the Lt Governor shouted at the officers saying that they have ‘betrayed’ the students of Puducherry by pre-updating the vacant number of seats before completing the counselling process.

Ms Bedi, who visited the office around 9.30 in the morning continued her inspection till 6.30 pm. Despite Centac officials’ plea that they have to consider secretary of health before making an order, the Lt Governor issued an order directing the Centac to conduct counselling on Wednesday to fill vacant seats and strictly asked them to rescind the seats diverted from government quota to management quota if any.

Much to the relief of students, Ms Bedi asked private medical colleges to admit students following the fee structure recommended. Ms Bedi threatened the officers to suspend them if they were not ready to present in the office of Centac on the day of counselling on Wednesday.

Following her visit, R. Babu, secretary of health department directed Centac to report the seats allocated and those vacant on a daily basis.

Monday, May 29, 2017

In service doctors secure 90 percent of PG seats in Tamil Nadu

In service doctors secure 90 percent of PG seats in Tamil Nadu

Apprehensions about PG medical admissions and boycott of work to demand a better deal notwithstanding, in-service government doctors have this year appropriated almost all postgraduate seats in government colleges, even without a high score in NEET-PG.

A provisional merit list released by the state selection committee for postgraduate degree and diploma seats in government colleges, government quota in self-financing colleges and Raja Muthiah Medical College, only 25 of 4,294 candidates are from the non-service-category. In the first phase of counselling, 709 government doctors were allotted seats, versus 13 from the non-service-category.

“This was expected and we had little time to do anything about it. We were forced to follow the high court order,” selection committee secretary G Selvaraju said.
On April 17, a single judge of the Madras high court ruled that Tamil Nadu must follow the latest MCI regulations in awarding of incentive marks to in-service candidates. As against a maximum of 10 marks under state rules, the MCI regulation envisaged a maximum of 30% of marks scored by a candidate in the NEET-PG examination as service incentive. Government doctors perceived it as a setback, filed appeals and went on strike. After a division bench delivered a split verdict, the third judge upheld the MCI rules, paving the way for award of 30% of NEET-PG score as incentive for canddiates. It ushered in a single rank list scheme and did away with reserving 50% of available seats in the government quota for inservice candidates.

As a result, this year, almost all PG medical seats on offer have been bagged by service candidates. For instance, the first non-service candidate to get a seat was Dr Mohamed Thariq S, who scored 1,109 in NEET-PG. He was called after 514 government doctors, many of whom scored less than him but bagged seats in the prestigious Madras Medical College (MMC). Another candidate, Dr Srinivasan M, with 1,102 in NEETPG, ranked fourth in the state after the state added 330.74 marks (30% of his NEET score) for three years of service in government hospitals. He was allotted MD (radio diagnosis) seat in MMC.

Health department officials agree that this is not a fair way to conduct counselling. “We are framing rules for impartial incentives. A committee comprising of various bodies of doctors and the government are in the panel to ensure fair play . It will be introduced from the next academic year,” health secretary J Radhakrishnan said.
400 percent hike in fees for PG seats in AP this year

400 percent hike in fees for PG seats in AP this year

HYDERABAD: The proposal by private medical colleges in the state to increase the tuition fees for post-graduate medical courses by a whopping 400 per cent has stunned students and junior doctors. 

The Telangana Private Medical and Dental Colleges Association (TPMDCA) has recommended to the state government to increase the tuition fee for PG courses from `3.2 lakh per year to `12 lakh per year. If accepted, students will have to shell out anywhere between `36 lakh for a three-year course as against `10 lakh they are paying currently. For management seats, the annual fee of `5.8 lakh will go up to a whooping `25 lakh.

“A similar notification has been issued by private medical colleges in AP and we fear we could be facing a similar situation soon,” wondered Dr G Srinivas, president of Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA) at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Telangana has 1,400 medical seats which are equally distributed between private and government colleges. Of the 700 seats, 350 are filled under the convener quota and the remaining 350 seats under the management quota.Meanwhile, medicos said that they will think of their course of action if their pleas fail to get any response from the government.