In a surprise check, Punjab Medical Council (PMC) has found more than 400 ghost teachers in four private medical colleges in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
In the inspection on Saturday and Sunday at MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Mullana (Ambala); MM Medical College and Hospital, Kumarhatti (Solan); Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Banur; and Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda, the council found head of its own ethics panel among the ghost teachers.
The Mullana institute topped the list with 220 ghost teachers, followed by Kumarhatti (84), Banur (56), and Bathinda (48). They are doctors shown to be working as full-time members of the faculty and drawing full pay, but work elsewhere actually and visit the college once in a week or 10 days to circumvent the Medical Council of India (MCI) rules. They include Dr Kulwant Singh, head of the inspecting council's ethics committee, who claims to be an assistant professor at Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Kumarhatti, but has own practice in Ludhiana.
PMC president Dr GS Grewal said the council had stumbled on the names of five leading doctors of Ludhiana, including heart specialist and former Dayanand Medical College principal Dr SS Sibia, and hair transplant surgeon Dr Devinderjit Singh Walia. "We were shocked at the findings, which have deep ramifications on the quality of medical education being provided at these colleges, and consequently on the quality of the medical treatment that people get," he said.
"For a layman, it is difficult to make out who is a proper doctor out of all those who hold a valid degree that these colleges award without education and training," said Dr Grewal, adding how innocent students and their parents who paid up to Rs 60 lakh as fee were being cheated.
The PMC president indicated that ghost teachers might face legal action that might include criminal proceedings, to make an example of them. "These doctors declared under oath to be working on regular basis in a medical college in Solan, while they were registered with the PMC and working in Ludhiana actually," he said.