The Bombay high court (HC) has directed the Maharashtra government to fill up vacancies for teaching staff in its medical colleges within three months. Expressing concern over the alarmingly poor student-teacher ratio in most government colleges in the state, the HC said that the state must take immediate steps to improve the infrastructure in its government colleges.
The court’s order came while hearing a suo moto public interest litigation (PIL) based on news reports stating that hundreds of faculty posts lay vacant in the state. A division bench comprising justice Naresh Patil and justice VL Achilya told the state that it must stop treating doctors like class II employees and instead, work on creating “an enhanced environment for them to work so that they do not feel the need to leave their teaching jobs for private practice.”
“The student-teacher ratio in India is among one of the worst in this world. You have such good and dedicated doctors in the country, who are also great academicians. You must create suitable infrastructure in your colleges and get such professionals to teach there,” the division bench said. “There are many retired doctors still willing to work. You must also consider employing them on a contract or ad hoc basis.”
Following a previous direction by the court in the matter, Amicus curiae senior advocate Ashutosh Kumbhakoni has also submitted a slew of suggestions such as increasing the pay packages of such academic staff members and increasing the retirement age for associate professors in state medical colleges among other things, for the state to incorporate in order to fill up the vacancies.
The HC has now directed the state to take the suggestions into consideration and fill up the vacancies at the earliest.