About 350 postgraduate doctors on the PSC rank list have been waiting to be appointed as Assistant Professors, although there are 93 vacancies.

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news Jobs Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 07:52

When Dr Geethika (name changed) secured top rank in the Public Service Commission (PSC) exam, she hoped for an immediate future as an assistant professor at a medical college in Kerala. The rank list was published in 2017, with the existing vacant posts. However, Dr Geethika continues to anxiously wait to get the hard-earned job.

Just like Dr Geethika, there are more than 350 postgraduate doctors on the PSC rank list, who have been waiting for more than two years for a job. 

The candidates alleged that the Directorate of Medical Education (DME), which has to implement the appointments, is ignoring the PSC rank list of PG doctors despite the fact that there are currently 93 vacant posts for Assistant Professors/Lecturers in medical institutions.

As per the Medical Council of India (MCI), there is no ‘lecturer’ post in medical colleges. Additionally, the notification for Minimum Qualification for Teachers in Medical Institutions states that there are only three teaching posts — Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. Assistant Professor is the entry cadre post.

Yet, according to the candidates, DME has allegedly appointed candidates holding MBBS degrees (an undergraduate degree programme) as lecturers instead of assistant professors. 

“The exam was conducted in 2016 for the post of Assistant Professor/Lecturer when there should not be a ‘lecturer’ post as per MCI. Apart from a few PG doctors who were initially appointed, DME has not taken any steps to appoint the rest of us. Instead, they are either deputing doctors from government hospitals to the post, or appointing MBBS doctors as lecturers,” Dr Geethika told TNM. 

The candidates also allege that after 2016, the DME did not notify the PSC on the vacancies for the post of Assistant Professor. They also claimed that until 2018, the ‘lecturer’ vacancies used to be reported but quickly filled by MBBS candidates.

Dr Remya (name changed) alleged, “MCI has informed the Kerala government multiple times that the Assistant Professor should be an entry-level teaching post and that minimum requirement for that should be post-graduate degree. However, this is not complied by the DME.”

Dr Remya, who had been earlier working abroad, came to Kerala hoping to serve the people of the state. “I studied in a Government Medical College under merit quota. I returned to Kerala, leaving behind a well-paid medical job, thinking that my service should be for the people here. But now, I am being forced to think otherwise, because of this lapse in appointments,” she said.

Taking note of the plight of the postgraduate doctors, the state government, in October, had written a letter to the Public Service Commission and DME, stating that there were discrepancies for still reporting vacancy post of Lecturer. 

“Though the exam in 2016 was held for the post of Assistant Professor/Lecturer, PSC only put out one rank list, that is for the post of Assistant Professors. Considering the MCI directions and the existing rank list, the government has understood that the demands of PG doctors to at least appoint them in Lecture post are justified,” reads the letter by state principal secretary.  

Though the government has directed PSC and DME to take necessary action in the issue, candidates complain that there has been no response yet. 

The candidates also recently secured an order in their favour from the Kerala Administrative Tribunal. The order, dated November 8, has given direction to the state government, Directorate of Medical Education and PSC, to convert the post of Lecturer to Assistant Professor. The tribunal has also given directions to report the total number of Assistant Professor posts after conversion, within three months. 

“It has been one month since the order was issued, but there has been no response yet. Our rank list will expire in about six months. Are they waiting for that to happen?” ask the candidates.