The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Biryani and transfers on doctors’ plate

Calcutta, July 14: A get-together over mutton biryani and chicken kosha and the “promise” of a transfer to a “college of choice” in two years — that was the menu to ensure teachers “cooperate” when an inspection team visits the Bankura Sammilani Medical College and Hospital.

The Medical Council of India’s inspection to check whether infrastructure at the college is adequate to teach 100 students every batch, which it does now, will come off this week.

Not wanting to take the risk of facing the team without an interface, lest the visit came off on Monday itself, the college authorities convened an “informal” meeting with teachers last evening that stretched late into the night.

“We wanted to get our point across to the teachers before the inspection,” principal Indrajit Ray told The Telegraph, explaining the decision to convene the “unofficial” meeting. “An overwhelming majority attended it and decided on some dos and don’ts. It was held in a very cordial atmosphere,” he added.

“I am doing my best to remove the drawbacks that are still there but I came here a few weeks ago,” said Ray. “Some lacunae remain — like the attitude of the PWD unit here — but I am happy to say that I have received the cooperation of every teacher in my endeavour to ensure that the inspection team goes back with a positive impression.”

Most teachers have given up their weekend offs to back his efforts, Ray added.

Teachers who attended the meeting agreed with their principal; the “atmosphere” could not be anything but “cordial” given the sumptuous spread, they said, but many were surprised by the “dos and don’ts” read out to them.

The teachers were specifically asked not to say “a word” to any member of the council. “Even if you know anyone in the visiting team personally (you could be batchmates or classmates), don’t utter a word beyond your name and department,” was the instruction.

Officials admitted at the meeting that not everything was fine at the college. Most of the grants that had come in the past two years were sent back unused, they said. Efforts would be made to ensure that the council team does not make a department-by-department inspection, the officials added.

But it was not all dry facts and sermon. Squeezed in was a dinner comprising mutton biryani, chicken kosha, navratan korma and ice-cream and sweets for dessert, which could have made many forget the pain of missing home over the weekend.

But the “incentive” that took everyone by surprise was that the teachers who will cooperate during the inspection will get a transfer to their college of choice in two years. With most teachers having families in Calcutta, the offer translated into transfers to the city’s colleges.

Ray said: “I admit I have not been left in a very happy situation but I would like to look forward.”

There’s no point going over what I said during the meeting and what I would have liked to inherit when I came here.”

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