In a recent development, the Allahabad High Court (HC) has granted interim relief to the non-MBBS professors of medical colleges by issuing a stay on the new guideline introduced by the National Medical Commission (NMC). The contested guideline specified that individuals without an MBBS degree teaching at medical colleges could not serve as examiners.
Dr Arjun Maitra, the President of the National MSc Medical Teachers’ Association (NMMTA), criticised the regulation, stating, “It is ridiculous to have a rule that permits you to teach but not to be an examiner.”
The high court put a stay order on the implementation of the NMC’s new regulation, allowing those who were examiners before to continue in their roles.“This is a partial relief but we plan to continue our fight,” says Dr Maitra.
To recall, on August 1 of this year, the NMC revised and implemented the Competency-Based Medical Education Curriculum (CBME) Regulations for 2023, exempting non-MBBS professors from serving as examiners.
Furthermore, in 2020, the National Medical Commission (NMC) reduced the permissible percentage of non-medical teachers in medical colleges to 15% from the previous 50% in Biochemistry, 15% from 30% in Anatomy and Physiology, and entirely removed them from the earlier 30% limit in Pharmacology and Microbiology. Nevertheless, the notification included a clause stating that already employed candidates would not be affected.
Dr Sridhar Rao, the former President of the NMMTA, claimed, “That is merely a saving clause. In practice, no one is adhering to it, and each college interprets these rules in their own way,” adding, “We lack godfathers to champion our cause, and our numbers are small, so the government is not inclined to act.”