The Indian Health Ministry has announced plans to engage Indian overseas doctors in teaching positions at government and private medical colleges to deal with the shortage of teachers and faculty.
A notification about the matter was issued by the Medical Council of India (MCI) which says that the teachers would be appointed on a part-time basis known as ‘visiting faculty’, with strict qualifications and eligibility criteria, including minimum work experience of eight years in a speciality department after achieving a post-graduate degree and an age limit of 70 years.
"To encourage and facilitate the inclusion of Indian diaspora in medical education, overseas citizens of India can also be appointed as visiting faculty," the notification stated, adding that visiting faculty can be private medical practitioners, retired personnel and from NGOs.
It also said that the college may provide an honorarium to visiting faculty.
"With a view to enhancing the comprehensiveness and quality of teaching of both undergraduate and postgraduate students in pre-clinical, para-clinical and clinical departments, medical colleges/medical institutions can appoint additional faculty members on a part-time basis who would be known as visiting faculty," the notification read.
This new regulation will not be applicable to the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry.
"The hiring of the visiting faculty would be made by a committee involving director, principal, dean of the medical college, head of the concerned department, head of the department from any other speciality and at least one expert on the subject from a medical college outside the city. He could be from an institute of national importance," said sources.
Previous regulations did not allow private doctors to teach at government medical colleges.