The state health department has filled up 15 professor posts through promotions in two medical colleges at Dhanbad and Jamshedpur in its rush to meet Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines to get back 100 MBBS seats.
According to MCI norms, each faculty in a medical college must have a professor, an associate professor, two assistant professors, a senior resident and a tutor.
The MCI had slashed 50 MBBS seats each at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College Hospital (MGMCH), Jamshedpur and Patliputra Medical College Hospital (PMCH), Dhanbad over faculty shortage and lack of infrastructure.
The state government will reply to the high court on September 9 on the steps it had taken to address faculty shortage and infrastructure deficiencies to make a case for getting back 100 MBBS seats.
Deputy secretary (health) Ram Kumar Sinha issued a notification on Saturday evening to promote eight associate professors as professors at MGMCH, Jamshedpur and seven at PMCH, Dhanbad.
Several departments at the medical colleges did not have a professor for over a decade. After the promotions, the two medical colleges have got a professor on each faculty.
The health department has also promoted 33 assistant professors — 19 at MGMCH and 14 at PMCH — as associate professors to fulfil MCI norms.
The associate professors who have been promoted as professors at MGMCH are Dr Birendra Prasad (paediatrics), Dr Laxanlal (bio-chemistry), Dr Prasant Bhakhala (skin), Dr Diwakar Hansda (surgery), Dr Gaurishankar Baraik (ortho), Dr Fazam (dentist), Dr BP Chaudhary ( microbiology) and Dr AC Srivastava (microbiology).
And those promoted at PMCH are Dr Upendra Verma (pharmacology), Dr B Chaudhary (paediatrics), Dr Pratibha Ray (gynaecology), Dr DP Bhadhani (surgery), Dr Banbala Verma (eye), Dr Hiralal Murmu (medicine) and Dr Amitabh Srivastava (microbiology).
MGMCH principal Dr AN Mishra and PMCH principal Dr PK Sengar said promotions were done through reservation system but officials at the headquarters could say how many belonged which quota.
Chief minister Raghubar Das recently approved a health department’s proposal to bypass quota for SC/ST and BC (backward class) categories for recruitment and promotion of doctors for teaching at MGMCH, PMCH and Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi.
The proposal was approved to deal with shortage of teachers in the three medical colleges. The department filled up vacant professor posts through promotions as no applicant turned up for interviews called thrice since October 2014.
In 2012, the state government had appointed eight professors for Jamshedpur and Dhanbad medical colleges through an interview. In 2004, then principal secretary health PP Sharma had promoted the most senior associate professors as professors to save MGMCH and PMCH from MCI de-recognition.
A senior health department official said the appointment of professors would not only help restore 100 MBBS seats but also pave the way for launching postgraduate courses in the two medical colleges.
The MGMCH has applied for launching PG courses in 18 subjects and PMCH in 16 subjects but the applications were held up due to lack of senior teachers.