New Delhi: If reports are to be believed the academic year 2019-20 is set to see the biggest addition of medical seats in government colleges with as many as 2,750 seats expected in 25 new colleges.

The government though has been expanding the number of seats since 2012 but is now reported to have accelerated the process. But as this news brings cheer, an area of concern is the faculty. Medical educationists and existing faculty in colleges have voiced concerns over the lack of staff to teach students, which they think will give rise to poaching of faculty and ghost teaching.

With 25 new colleges coming up, the minimum faculty requirement is pegged at over 3,000, that includes 600 professors, 1,000 associate professors and almost 1,500 assistant professors.

Former Union health secretary Sujatha Rao had also recently tweeted asking, “Where do they get the faculty from? How do they ensure the quality of training? Choice seems to be between having a shortage of doctor and ill-trained doctors.”

Some reports suggest that the Medical Council of India is mulling options like increasing the retirement age of doctors and inducting retired doctors from the armed forces to teaching.

A LOOK AT THE STATISTICS

In 2018, 18 government colleges were added and five in the private sector, that now has a demand of at least 2,000 faculty members. In 2017, 13 colleges were opened that require nearly 1,100 faculty. In 2016, 30 colleges were opened that still require 3000 teaching professionals. Therefore, the question looms large, how does the government plan to bridge this gap and hire teachers.