Even the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, received an offer last week to be a ghost teacher in one of the medical colleges.
Addressing medical students and doctors during the annual convocation at Ludhiana’s Dayanand Medical College on Friday, Dr Raj Bahadur said: “I got the offer on the SMS (short messaging service) from an unfamiliar number. It was on behalf of Fatima Medical College (Fathima Institute of Medical Sciences, Kadapa), Andhra Pradesh. The sender offer me `4 lakh, if I could turn up at the college during an inspection by the Medical Council of India.”
To get through the inspection, the college needed a professor-level senior teacher in the orthopaedics department. “Their desperation is so bad that they don’t even spare the vice-chancellors,” the V-C told the gathering. He said that on inquiring from colleagues later, he had come to know that these calls were routine. “They have a bank of the contacts detail of retired medical teachers, and they send the message to all,” he said, adding: “I am over 60, so perhaps they took me for a retired professor. “They didn’t know that at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, the retirement age is 65,” he said.
Punjab Medical Council (PMC) president Dr GS Grewal, who has gone after the ghost teachers in the region, said the call to Dr Raj Bahadur explained the situation very well. “Medical education has degenerated to such an extent that now they have professional agencies to hire ghost teachers,” said Dr Grewal. The PMC has found more than 400 ghost teachers in four private medical colleges in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.