NEET results show more students opting for non-clinical courses: Health Ministry official


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NEET results over the years have shown more students are opting for non-clinical courses in medical and dental colleges, a senior official of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said today.

Sudhansh Pant, joint secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said this during a conference on the "role of biomedical scientists in New India" organised by the National M.Sc Teachers' Association (NMMTA), a representative body of non-medical teachers in non-clinical departments of medical and dental colleges in India.

NMMTA has been protesting against a Medical Council of India proposal that reportedly aims to reduce appointment of non-medical teachers in colleges to 15 per cent from 30 per cent. It has said that the proposal "jeopardises job opportunities for those having M.Sc postgraduate degrees".

"Unfortunately, when one talks of medical education, the role of M.Sc medical teachers somehow gets relegated to the background a little bit... Medical teachers who are doctors get prominence," Pant said.

"The role of M.Sc teachers is crucial. When we analyse NEET results...I feel that more and more students have been expressing interest in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and paramedical subjects like microbiology," he said.

"Earlier a majority of seats in non-clinical and para-clinical courses were not getting filled because candidates won't opt for such subjects. But there has been a gradual shift, there's been a change," he added.

The health ministry official said the government will try and ensure that whatever best can be done for this segment "within the overall framework of rules and regulations" will be looked into with full responsibility.

Non-medical teachers are those having medical M.Sc degree/Ph.D in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology and biochemistry from MCI-recognised colleges.

NMMTA's website reads, "In India, biomedical scientists with medical M.Sc postgraduate degrees are facing an existential crisis of the highest magnitude."

"A hostile Medical Council of India and an indifferent government that is rife with policy paralysis are making matters worse. Those pursuing medical M.Sc courses are trained to render services as consultants in diagnostic laboratories, teachers of non-clinical subjects and scientists in research establishments", it says.

"The lobbyists are working overtime to exclude biomedical scientists from diagnostics. Now, the MCI wishes to reduce the non-medical faculty to 15-25 per cent and then subsequently stop hiring them," NMMTA claims.

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