Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is writing to chief ministers of states to increase the retirement age of faculty in medical, nursing, dental and other related colleges from 58 to 65 to curb the shortage of teachers and their exodus to the private sector.
Azad wants states to follow in the footsteps of central government medical colleges, which have increased the retirement age of faculty from 60 to 65.
If states agree, thousands of teachers employed in the 150 state government medical colleges across the country will benefit.
“We want this [higher retirement age] to be applicable in states as well. We have set a precedent. Why can’t the states follow it? By increasing retirement age, states can easily deal with the shortage of medical teachers and escape from ‘Inspector Raj’, corruption and MCI control,” Azad said. The minister listed a large number of states where the retirement age is 58 — it is 55 in Kerala.
“After 55, the same faculty members join private colleges on a higher salary and teach there till 65 because private colleges have a higher retirement age. The best way to deal with faculty shortage is to increase retirement age,” Azad said.
Private firms can open medical colleges
Meanwhile, to increase human resource in the medical sector, the health ministry has decided to allow private companies registered in India to set up colleges.
Medical colleges so far were run by state/central governments or private charitable trusts. “Some of the top hospitals that already have bed capacities can start teaching medical students,” Azad said.