Teachers at medical colleges across Rajasthan tendered their resignations on Thursday and boycotted work to protest the state government’s decision to redesignate doctors as “medical teachers”.
The Rajasthan Medical College Teachers’ Association (RMCTA) said they would continue their agitation until the government withdrew the March 7 order. However, they will continue attending to emergency cases.
The doctors, for their part, defended the government decision – stating that they were equally qualified to teach.
Medical teachers are covered by the medication education department in Rajasthan, whereas doctors come under the health department. While medical teachers are designated as assistant professor, associate professor and professor, doctors hold the posts of medical officer, junior specialist, senior specialist and principal specialist.
Through its March 7 order, the government redesignated junior specialists as assistant professors, senior specialists as associate professors and principal specialists as professors – paving the way for them to teach in medical colleges. The move was part of the Rajasthan government’s strategy to fill faculty positions in eight new medical colleges across the state.
The decision, however, did not go down well with existing medical college teachers.
Work at six medical colleges across Rajasthan has come to a standstill. Over 350 of 550 medical college teachers, including principal Dr US Agarwal, tendered their resignations at Jaipur’s SMS Medical College. In Kota, all 150 teachers – including principal Dr Girish Verma – put in their papers as a mark of protest. As many as 95 of 195 teachers have tendered their resignation in Udaipur, while 150 of 230 staffers are protesting at Jodhpur’s SN Medical College. In Ajmer, all 225 medical teachers boycotted work after quitting their positions.
The SMS Medical College students union also joined the protest movement launched by their teachers, and announced the boycott of classes and hospital duty.
Dr RK Gokharu, the principal of Ajmer medical college, said the Medical Council of India will not accept the government’s decision to give doctors lateral entry into teaching institutions. “A delegation of medical college teachers met health minister Kali Charan Saraf at the assembly today. The minister agreed to look into the matter,” said RMCTA secretary Dr Dhananjai Agarwal.