HM mulls introducing Central recruitment at all AIIMS to address shortage of faculty
India's Union health ministry is exploring the option of implementing centralised recruitment for faculty and non-faculty positions across various AIIMS throughout the country. The purpose of this is to address the personnel shortage at these premier health institutes. A committee comprising Dr V K Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog; Additional Secretary, PMSSY, Ministry of Health; and Director, AIIMS, New Delhi has been established to investigate this possibility. The decision to form this committee was made following the Central Institute Body (CIB) meeting held on January 8 at AIIMS Bhubaneswar. The committee will examine the possibility of introducing centralised recruitment, among other things.
The health ministry has highlighted that 44% of faculty posts are vacant in 18 new AIIMS, with AIIMS Rajkot having the lowest number of faculties out of the sanctioned 183 posts. AIIMS Vijaypur and AIIMS Gorakhpur are also among the lowest when it comes to the number of faculties compared to the number of sanctioned posts. Although the government has sanctioned adequate faculty positions for all newly-created All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for teaching MBBS students, only 2,259 out of the 4,026 sanctioned posts have been filled in the 18 new AIIMS.
The introduction of a central recruitment system is expected to make the appointment process of faculty and non-faculty staff more transparent and smooth. Additionally, it will facilitate easy transfers of personnel from one AIIMS to another. Currently, individual AIIMS recruit their own personnel, and it has been observed that talented doctors are often reluctant to take positions outside their home states or in hard-to-reach areas.
The ministry has also taken several measures to augment faculty strength in newly established AIIMS. For example, the upper age limit for direct recruitment against the posts of Professor and Additional Professor has been raised from 50 years to 58 years. The ministry has also permitted the hiring of serving faculty from government medical colleges/institutes on deputation basis, allowed the contractual engagement of retired faculty of government medical colleges/institutes up to 70 years of age, and allowed overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders to be appointed to faculty positions. Additionally, a visiting faculty scheme has been established to allow national and international faculty to work in the newly set up AIIMS for teaching and academic purposes.
Temporary diversion of faculty posts has been allowed on loan basis from one department to another, which can be filled up on contractual basis, and recruitment advertisement with one-year validity has been put in place to speed up the process of filling up vacancies. AIIMS Delhi and six new AIIMS - Bihar (Patna), Chhattisgarh (Raipur), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal), Odisha (Bhubaneswar), Rajasthan (Jodhpur) and Uttarakhand (Rishikesh) - were approved under phase 1 of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) and are fully functional. Out of the 16 AIIMS established between 2015 and 2022, MBBS classes and outpatient department services have been started in 10 institutes, while only MBBS classes have been started in another two. The remaining four institutes are at different stages of development.