Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MCI move to impact medical research in India

In a move which will have far-reaching impact on research in medicine in India, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has made authenticated research mandatory for promotions of faculty in all the 299 medical colleges in the country. While the minimum service period required for promotion from assistant professor to associate professor rank has been reduced from 5 years to 4 years, at least two research papers would be mandatory to get the promotion. As for promotions from associate professor to professor level, the service period comes down from 4 years to 3 years, but 4 research papers would be required to get the promotion. This change in MCI regulations, which was notified recently, would come as a shock to some 20,000 assistant professors and associate professors, who have hardly carried out any research. The research will have to be of quality level to make it into any one of around 300 journals in India which are indexed by a UN certifying agency.

Only 10 per cent of journals brought out in India have qualified for the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) number given out by the Paris-based agency. There are 6800 index journals worldwide and, according to date available with MCI, content generated from India is just 1.2 % — a sad commentary on the lack of research activities in India which has the highest number of medical colleges in the world. “This notification will come into effect immediately and we hope this would revive research activities across all government and private colleges. The MCI regulation earlier was that research is desirable. Now we have said research is mandatory,” said MCI chairman Ketan Desai.

Source: The Times of India

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