Mumbai: Medical college teachers wait for 2 years to be paid overdue honorarium
Some have not been paid by the state-run colleges for the last four years; the rise in the amount is still awaiting budgetary provisions
Professors, associate professors and assistant professors at 14 state-run medical colleges, three state-run dental colleges and four state-run ayurvedic colleges have not been paid honorarium for two years to four years. They are to be paid Rs 1,500 for their lectures and expert medical services.
Grant Medical College runs four hospitals, which have 100 honorary teachers designated now as Regular Contractual Teachers
A rise in this honorarium from Rs 1,500 to Rs 15,000, which was announced by the state health department, is still in limbo. Health department officials claim that the file is stuck with the state finance ministry and unless budgetary provisions are made, the increment won't be a reality. The state has also invited the wrath of the honorary teaching faculty by circumventing a Government Regulation (GR) passed in 2010 stating that the faculty age has been raised from 58 to 62 for retirement. Despite this GR, the Grant Medical College insists that visiting faculty must not be older than 58 years and they may be reappointed for a period of 364 days with a gap of one day.
Dr Vijay Tapase, 65, former Hon. Professor of Surgery attached to Grant Medical College, and the former president of Honorary Doctors Association said, "This is clear discrimination between medical teachers who are state employees and honorary teachers. While honorary teachers are paid a stipend of Rs 1,500 per month, full-time teachers are paid an amount between Rs 70,000 and Rs 1.50 lakh depending on their seniority and designations. However for almost two years, we have been deprived of the stipend. Four of the Grant Medical college-run hospitals — St Georges, JJ, Cama and GT hospitals — in all have around 100 RCTs, and there are 180 across Maharashtra."
He added, "While the state government has increased the limit of retirement from 58 years to 62 years, and extended our service for another three years up to 65 years on contractual basis at a pay scale of around Rs 50,000, we are now being designated as Regular Contractual Teachers (RCTs) and deprived of this facility. Even the Medical Council of India has allowed faculty members to continue teaching till 70 years and has mooted a proposal to the union government to increase the age limit to 75 years due to scarcity of medical teachers. Why are we being made scapegoats?"
The other side
Numerous attempts to contact State Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan did not yield results.
Joint Director Dr T P Lahane, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) said, "All the honorary teachers who shared bank details are getting the honorarium of Rs 1,500 monthly. Many haven't submitted the details fearing that their PAN details would reveal their other bank accounts and source of income."
On the increment, Lahane added, "The proposal has already been approved by the Medical Education minister and the file has been sent to Finance Department for necessary budget allocation."
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