Delhi HC to hear non-Medical MSc/PhD professors’ case in March 2024 

This case has been pending with the Delhi High Court since 2020, while Medical MSc/PhD professors allege discrimination by the NMC
Pic Credit: EdexLive
Pic Credit: EdexLive

For the past two years, non-medical professors in medical colleges have been fighting against the Undergraduate Board of the National Medical Commission (NMC) and its alleged discrimination. The Delhi High Court is slated to hear a case about the issue on March 9, 2024.

United under the aegis of the National Medical MSc Teachers’ Association (NMMTA), the professors allege that the medical regulatory body has been treating students, teachers, and academicians in Medical MSc fields like Anatomy, Physiotherapy, Microbiology and others, unfairly. 

The issue began when the NMC reduced the allowable percentage of non-medical teaching staff from 50 per cent to 15 per cent in Biochemistry, 30 per cent in Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Physiology, and removed the 30 per cent cap in Pharmacology and Microbiology – pushing teachers and graduates in these subjects in a state of limbo, where they can neither shift to another discipline nor advance in their careers.

Following this, the NMMTA brought the ordeal of Medical MSc teachers to the attention of both the NMC and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with the latter even increasing the overall 15 per cent reservation for non-medical teaching staff to 30 per cent. However the NMC has not been implementing this step, alleges the NMMTA. 

On August 21, 2023, the NMMTA even staged a protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, with more than 200 teachers, faculty members, heads of departments, professors and assistant professors participating. The official X handle of the organisation, @NMMTA_Assn, even tweeted about their grievances with the hashtag #NMCStopAcademicApartheid, pleading with the Union Government to replace the UG Board of the NMC with more “equitable” members. 

However, NMMTA claimed that this discrimination continued even after the protest, with existing faculty members, who are MSc and PhD professors, allegedly being terminated in favour of MD holders. They shared such incidents from Medical MSc professors on their X account and termed them as “Academic apartheid”. 

“Medical colleges in India are seeing a severe shortage in faculty. There are new medical colleges also being opened. Despite this, the NMC has been discriminating against non-MD professors,” says Dr Arjun Maitra, Founding Member and President of NMMTA. He says that because of this, Medical MSc and PhD teachers have been suffering unnecessarily. 

The only hope of NMMTA, as well as non-medical teachers at large, is the court case, which was initially slated to be heard on November 9 last year, and has been pending since 2020. “We are not too keen to explore other avenues such as protests or dharnas, as we believe that it would accomplish nothing,” Dr Maitra says. 

He adds that this issue will only be resolved over discussion or a hearing. 

“We have talked enough about our problems. It is time for the government and the NMC to respond and act,” he states. 

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