The Bold Voice of J&K

Even with two Govt Medical Colleges in J&K there was shortage of qualified & experienced faculty


Now J&K has 9 Govt Medical Colleges on board, why not atleast now open doors for faculty from outside?
Some erstwhile ‘PRs of J&K’ who carry myth of ‘Special Status’ ask what ‘YOU’ gained after August 2019


The Administration of UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh must take to actions / measures where the masses are able to feel the good of policies / action of the government like cost effective health cover, good and cost effective school/ higher education, on ground good governance through delivery of day to day public services & socio- physical security and like. There are medical colleges in Kathua/ Rajouri/Doda but patients are still coming to private clinics/ Medical College Hospitals Jammu/Srinagar. Opening of New medical colleges and making them functional with contractual temporary faculty comprising mostly of the retired faculty members from Jammu / Srinagar GMCs or even filling professor level with doctors from field with no teaching experience puts even the status of quality of teaching under question mark?
Simple capital intensive projects and investments by government are not of meaningful worth unless the human resources that have to use the assets, maintain the assets and deliver the services to the common people too work to the value & purpose for which they are deployed. The J&K UT Administration need to visibly tread some more in that direction.
J&K hospitals / Medical colleges have remained short of adequately qualified and experienced doctors in hospitals and more particularly in government medical colleges. Since doctors from outside J&K could not be employed in government hospitals and government medical colleges because for that one had to be a state subject of J&K / Permanent Resident. of J&K hence compromises in prescribed standards had to be made in appointments & even promotions. Even when there were only two government medical colleges in J&K State ( Srinagar MC conceived in 1959 and formally inaugurated in Aug 1961; Jammu MC started in 1973 ) there was shortage of adequately qualified &experienced faculty and one can imagine the status after it was decided to open 5 new Government Medical Colleges in J&K in 2014 and proposals were initiated in 2019 to open 2-3 more government medical colleges in UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh. The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare convened in meetings of Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) on 15th January/ 5th June 2017 specific approvals for new GMCs Anantnag, Baramulla, Rajouri, Kathua and Doda was given; and in 2016-17 & 2017-18, Rs 19203 Crore (Central Share) had been released for 5 new GMCs ; Rs 5.70 Crore (State Share) had been released under Capex Budget during 2016-17 and 2017-18 . J&K State Cabinet headed by Mehbooba Mufti on 04-10-2017 accorded sanction to the creation of 3375 posts for 5 colleges @ 575 posts per college and on 4 July 2018 three Professors from GMCJ and 2 professors from GMCS were appointed Principals of new colleges in Incharge capacity. { Dr Javed Choudhary, Prof. Paediatric, GMCS I/C GMCe Baramulla and Dr Showket Jeelani, Prof & HoD Surgery, GMC Srinagar, I/C GMC Anantnag, Dr Ghansham Dev Gupta, Prof, Radio Diagnosis GMC Jammu I/C GMC Doda; Dr Zahid Geelani Prof Pharmacology GMC Jammu as I/C GMC Rajouri and Dr Bella Mahajan Prof MicrobiologyGMC Jammu I/C GMC Kathua }.In July 2018 one Professor from JMC Jammu was appointed incharge Principal GMC Doda but the order was modified just in two days (no reason was mentioned for modification, may be the doctor did not find it to his “personal convenience”).
It was expected that after decision taken in 2014 to open 5 new Government Medical Colleges the J&K Government would open the doors for appointment of non- permanent resident of J&K Doctors . Governments in J&K had not in the past opened the doors for non Permanent Residents of J&K in medical colleges even when appointments by relaxations of rules as of Non Permanent Residents of J&K could be made as faculty members in Jammu University and Kashmir University due to which quality as well as variety of health services as well as teaching faculty had badly suffered in J&K state.
But so strangely even after 31-10-2019 till 2022 no provision has been made for that even after proposals for 3 more new GMCs had been favourably considered by GOI (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare GOI on 05-10-2019 approved proposals of J&K H&ME for establishment of new GMCs at Leh & Udhampur at an estimated cost of Rs 325 crore each and it was reported that GMC Handwara too was under consideration). Instead the requirement is still being met by appointing retired faculty from J&K Medical Colleges as well from the doctors from J&K health department through lateral entry even at level of Professor who have no experience of teaching to undergraduates atall and with this the medical services from medical colleges as well as future of graduating doctors coming out are going to badly suffer. No doubt Some compromise can be made at lecturer level but cannot be afforded on regular basis at Professor level. Imagine the injustice being done to students as well has the patients they will be treating in the field.
To quote in brief SRO -24 of 10-01-2019 ( Jammu and Kashmir Medical and Dental Education (Appointment on Academic Arrangement Basis) Rules, 2019) for recruitments on contractual basis is still being used in 2022 almost as a regular procedure where the features like maximum age in general for applying for the post of Professor ( L-13 1,23,100- 215900) /Associate Professor ( L-12 78800- 2,09,200) / Assistant Professor ( L-11 67700- 2,08,700)/ Lecturer (L-9 52700- 1,66,700 ) has been kept as 63 Yrs with the proviso to Rule-6 saying that as regards 5 new medical colleges the maximum age at the time of submitting application for Professors & Associate Professors shall be 67 years and retirement age will be 70 years; and for Registrar/ Demonstrator (L-9 52700- 1,66,700 ) the maximum age at the time of application has been kept as 50; and similarly process being adopted as lateral entry for recruiting Sr. Consultants with 18 yr Experience from J&K Health department as Professors ( ‘designated professors) in medical colleges and that too in new Medical Colleges on temporary basis itself speaks about the seriousness. In modern times of advancing education and research the manner of recruitment and constructing the faculty in new medical colleges that may have to face many teething problems too speaks of the ‘seriousness’ with which the J&K H&ME wing of even the Government of UT of J&K is working what to talk of the pre 2019 times.
So with the opening of New medical colleges and making them functional with contractual temporary faculty comprising mostly of the retired faculty members from Jammu / Srinagar government medical colleges, could it not be assessed that the status of quality of teaching surely comes under more question marks? More so even appointing doctors at the level of Professor / HoD from health department with no teaching experience through lateral entry is additionally detrimental..
With such like status of the health services and blocks like conditions like requirement of JK domicile in the way of obtaining suitable faculty for teaching and research like was it due JK Permanent Resident condition earlier to 2019 still remaining , surely the common man of J&K will not feel that any immediate special worth common feel has been there in UT of J&K.
When some people say that LG Manoj Sinha has surely taken to some challenging actions for betterment at his level, some may ask them why no corrections have been ordered by him as regards recruitments in medical colleges.? May be he is not adequately informed of such needs. Surely in case Sinha & CS Mehta are provided with the timely and truthful feedbacks like immediate need for opening doors for appointment of doctors who are not domicile of J&K in the government medical colleges so that the people are provided adequate health services and the MBBS students are also provided proper& quality education/ training by amending S.O. 1245 (E)-issued In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 96 of the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019 (34 of 2019) as regards ding Sections 3A, 5 and 8 of The J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act (Act No. XVI of 2010) that would enable him take serious view of such like requirements.
(The author is a Sr Journalist & analyst of J&K Affairs. [email protected]).

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