Doctors sue MCI on new TEQ rules

October 10, 2018 0 By CH Unnikrishnan

A group of doctors in Tamil Nadu has filed a petition in Madras High Court challenging the maximum age limit of 40 set by the Medical Council of India (MCI) for the post of senior resident or assistant professor in medical colleges. In their petition, the doctors have requested the court to declare the amendment as unconstitutional, ultra vires, discriminatory and illegal.

The public interest litigation (PIL), which came up for hearing before the bench of Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Subramaniam Prasad, was posted for the next hearing on September 19 as the MCI sought time for filing counter affidavit.

Last year, MCI had made certain changes in Teachers Eligibility Qualifications (TEQ) rules. The changes include the maximum age limit of 40 for appointment to the post of senior resident with effect from June 8, 2017. In their affidavit, the petitioners stated that they joined for post graduate courses before the changes were effected in rules and there was no age limit when they joined. In November 2017, the state government sent a proposal to the central government asking it to drop the criteria of age limit as it would affect medical administration and career of the doctors who have joined for PG courses. The government has also stated that the move will prove counterproductive.

Subsequent to the notification, MCI clarified that amendments would be applicable prospectively from the date of notification and will not have any effect on appointments or promotions made before the date of notification. Therefore, residents already working on the post of senior resident after passing DNB or Diploma Course can continue to hold the same post. It has further clarified that those who are doing post graduation after the age of 40 years will not be eligible for the post of Senior Resident and they cannot be appointed as Assistant Professor directly after PG and promoted as Associate Professor after gaining five years of experience as assistant professor. It further clarified that if a person has done DNB from MCI recognised institute, then he or she will be considered equivalent to MD/MS to be eligible as Senior Resident. If the person had done
DNB from institutes not recognised by MCI, then he or she has to do three years of Junior Residency in
the concerned subject from MCI approved institute to be eligible to become SR.

MCI later clarified that a candidate having MBBS and DLO (ENT) qualification has worked as JR for a period of one year in ENT after PG would require MD degree in the subject concerned. Thereafter one-year senior residency is mandatory for the post Assistant Professor
in the subject concerned. It has also clarified that requirement of one year senior residency for the post of assistant professor is applicable
only to those disciplines where posts of senior residents is prescribed
as per the minimum standard requirement of MCI.