The state failed to approve ad hoc promotions to teachers on time affecting the teacher-student ratio in these colleges. There are close to 1,200 PG seats in government colleges.
At a time when the state is facing a shortage of doctors in the pandemic, this delay could have been avoided, said a professor. But an official from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) said since NEET-PG 2020-21 has been postponed till August 31, these deficiencies can be met before the admission process commences.
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Postgraduate seats in medical colleges are based on the number of faculty positions. The teacher-student ratio is 1:3 for a professor, 1:2 for an associate professor, and 1:1 for a lecturer. Maharashtra does not follow time-bound promotions and for almost two decades, ad hoc promotions and continuation letters are granted to qualified teachers every year. Since these teachers did not receive continuation/promotion letters for over eight months, it was noted during the commission’s inspection, which, in turn, reduced the total intake capacity in colleges. In the state, around 350 faculty members were awaiting their ad hoc promotion letters.
In a letter to the medical education and drugs department on April 29, MUHS requested to make teachers available in colleges where PG seats are reduced due to the non-availability of PG teachers. Saurabh Vijay, medical education secretary, was unavailable for comment.
Earlier, representatives of Maharashtra State Medical Teachers’ Association had approached medical education minister Amit Deshmukh to explain the problem with the delay in ad hoc promotions. Dr. Sachin Mulkutkar from the association said for 19 years, the same process is being followed. “We do not know why it was delayed, but we are now told that the file has been signed by the minister. We hope the promotion orders will be released soon,” he said.
Dr. Sameer Golawar said the state needs to adopt time-bound promotions like those followed in central institutes like AIIMS. “This problem can be resolved then. There are 682 vacant posts for lecturers, 324 for associate professors, and 150 for a professor in the state. New colleges are being planned without filling faculty posts in existing colleges.”