Sunday, April 12, 2009

Flying Teachers Bail Out Colleges

Desperate times call for desperate measures. So, medical, dental and nursing colleges in Karnataka, which are desperately short of teaching staff, fly in teachers when they come up for inspection by regulatory bodies.

College managements rope in teachers for a few hours or days till the inspection is completed and then fly them back. These teachers, who usually don't work in any institution, are present during the inspection and earn anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000, depending on their experience. Sometimes, they even demand, and get, gold chains!

Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) officials told Sunday Times of India the practice was more rampant in nursing colleges simply because there are 325 in the state and there aren't enough teachers. Of course, it happens in some medical and dental institutions too.

As per apex body norms, every department should have a minimum number of teachers and professors. "However, for certain departments like forensic, paramedical and pre-clinical, pharmacology and anaesthesia, it is difficult to get teachers," officials said.

Besides regulatory bodies, the RGUHS Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) also conducts an annual inspection to grant affiliation. "The committee inspects colleges and files its report to the university. Later, it's placed before the university's academic council. The final decision is taken by the syndicate," the official explained.

Medical Council of India (MCI) president Dr Ketan Desai told STOI the council has taken various measures to crack down on teachers who work only during inspection.

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