Medical education commissioner asks Sassoon to submit revised proposal for autonomous status

Maharashtra’s first Medical Education Commissioner, Virendra Singh, has not only directed BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital to revise their proposal for an autonomous status but also told authorities to improve the conditions at the students’ hostel and urged the faculty to ensure publication of high quality research papers in international journals.

This is the first time the post of medical education commissioner has been created by the state government. Singh, who is conducting a review of medical colleges in the state, first visited Pune’s BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital on April 8.

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Dr Vinayak Kale, who formally took charge as Dean of BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, said they were asked to crystallize the concepts and include several changes in their proposal seeking an autonomous status for the medical institution. This includes feedback performance from students, clear role and responsibility of the director of the institution and other financial considerations like generation of income sources.

It may be recalled that the department of medical education and research had invited proposals from government medical colleges in Pune, Mumbai and Aurangabad and Nagpur seeking autonomous status several years ago. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had last year, during the 75th foundation day celebrations of BJ Medical College, in fact urged authorities at the Directorate of Medical Education and Research to follow up regularly on proposals seeking autonomous status for BJ Medical College in Pune and Grant Medical College in Bombay.

Autonomous status is akin to the deemed university status, where the institution has the power to plan and conduct examinations, offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses and fix the curriculum and calendar events for the academic year.

Granting autonomous status to these colleges would also enable administration to take financial decisions and fill up vacancies to enhance patient care. Presently, at BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, of the 3,049 sanctioned posts of Class I to 4, a total of 2,177 have been filled. As many as 872 posts are vacant.

While BJ Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital had submitted a proposal seeking autonomous status in October last year, the recent review by the medical commissioner has directed authorities to make additional changes and submit a revised proposal, Dr Ajay Chandanwale, Joint Director, Department of Medical Education and Research said.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner met undergraduate and postgraduate medical students who also spoke about the need for better facilities at the hostel. Singh also directed authorities to impart good and quality medical education.


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