Throwing the rules to the wind, the Punjab government has given extension to director medical education and research (DMER), 17 days after his term ended.
According to a notification issued on April 17 by Vini Mahajan, principal secretary, health and medical education and research, Dr Tejbir Singh, director, medical education and research, was given extension with the approval of the chief minister.
Dr Singh’s term ended on March 31. However, he kept attending the office and was given extension 17 days later.
The post DMER is reserved for senior-most professors of the medical colleges of the state.
According to the rules and the past practice, the DMER is sent back to the medical college after he attains the age 58. The retirement age for faculty in medical colleges of the state is 62.
Earlier also, the state government has been generous to Dr Singh. When he was appointed to the post of DMER in March 2013, he was not the seniormost professor in the state. He was eighth in the seniority list of even Gover nment Medical College, Amritsar.
It was during Dr Singh’s tenure that the gover nment and private medical colle ges saw a huge increase in the fees of MBBS and BDS courses. Some experts even look at this development as a reward to Dr Singh for favouring private medical colleges of the state.
“You analyse his tenure, it will be remembered for the huge fee hike and turning medical education into a commodity. Finally, he got rewarded for betraying the poor students of the state,” said Dr Pyara Lal Garg, former registrar, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.
When contacted, Vini Mahajan was not available for comment.
The decision has come at a time when the election code of conduct is in force and the department is denying the postings of selected medical teachers citing the election code. Earlier, Dr JS Dalal and Dr Jai Kishan had been sent back as professors on attaining the age of 58.