New Delhi : The Medical Council of India (MCI) has relaxed its stringent rules on appointment of the teaching faculty in the medical colleges, allowing for the first time in the country’s history the specialists and consultants practicing in private hospitals to teach medicine in the new government medical colleges.

The government persuaded it to relax the rules to remove the acute shortage of the teaching faculty jeopardising its plans to upgrade 58 district government hospitals into the medical colleges. The government has to, in fact, find the faculty for another 24 district government hospitals to be upgraded as the medical colleges as announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget tabled in Parliament on February 1.

The new rules say the consultants and specialists will be appointed as professors and associate professors, provided they fulfil the standards laid for the posts. Changes in the “Minimum qualification for teachers in medical institutions regulations, 1998” pave the way for the private practising doctors to apply for the teaching positions.

The amended regulations say any consultant or specialist with more than 18 years of experience and four publications in indexed journals as first author can be appointed as professor to teach in the upgraded medical colleges. They will be appointed as “designate professors” and made “professors” on completion of three years of teaching.

Those with more than 10 years of experience and two research papers in indexed journals as the first author will be appointed as “associate professors.”

The MCI notification clarifies that this is a one-time provision for the non-teaching government district hospitals that are sought to be strengthened as medical colleges and teaching hospitals.

Meanwhile, through another gazette notification the MCI declared that the examination for admissions in the postgraduate courses in the academic year 2018-19 will be held on January 10 and the results declared by January end. It has also announced the schedule for counselling and the last dates of joining.

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