Parliamentary Committee’s Report suggests "balanced approach" to issues of MSc/PhD scholars

The report published by the Parliament of India on February 9 talks about the position of the non-MBBS teaching faculties and renders suggestions on their existing status 

A report released by the Parliament of India titled One Hundred Fifty Seventh Report on Quality of Medical Education in India, dated February 9, 2024, offers suggestions for discord that has continued amidst the appointment of teaching assistants for various branches of non-clinical and non-para-clinical subjects in medical institutions.

What does the report state?
The report states, "The sudden cessation of non-MBBS candidates teaching non and non-para-clinical subjects, such as anatomy, pharmacology, and microbiology, presents a complex situation. While upholding high educational standards is paramount, there is a need for a balanced and gradual approach that accommodates the interests and expertise of non-MBBS candidates,"

The report also suggests a "thoughtful and a phased strategy" that would address the issue of the appointment of non-MBBS faculty for teaching positions for these subjects.

It also suggests a transitional period that allows these non-MBBS faculty members to continue teaching until there are enough MBBS doctors available to teach these subjects. This decision has been taken to make sure that the education of the students is not affected in any way.

Emphasis laid on faculty development
In order to make provision for the non-MBBS qualified educators to teach the MBBS students, the ministry could offer opportunities to enhance the existing teaching skills of the MSc/PhD scholars and align their curriculum with the evolving standards of medical education, so they can remain relevant to the need of the paucity of the MBBS faculties for the non-clinical and non-para-clinical subjects.

It also goes on to say that these non-MBBS scholars often bring unique perspectives and expertise to the field, and rather than de-limiting their domain, their expertise can also be integrated into the education system through collaborative efforts, interdisciplinary research, and other innovative teaching methodologies.

Association reacts

In an X post by The MSc Medicine Association (@TMMAOfficial), it writes, "We are glad to see the mention of our qualifications as Medical Postgraduate qualifications as per IMC Act 1956 awarded to non-MBBS graduates since 1960s."

It further goes on to say that the MSc-PhD graduates receive training that equips them to assist in the field of medical education, and further upgrade their skills in order to contribute to the research.

After a series of protests and several petitions written to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other governing bodies, the report published on February 9 validates the position of the scholars, dissolving a dated debate that stated that these scholars do not possess the knowledge or the skills to teach the MBBS graduates.    

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