Around 4,800 MBBS seats have been reserved for students belonging to economically weaker sections of general category in the current year, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour on Friday.
The minister, who was responding to supplementaries from Mohammad Javed of the Congress, Pinaki Misra of the Biju Janata Dal and Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy of the YSRCP, said there has been an increase of 24,698 seats in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in more than two years. There has been an increase of 15,815 UG seats and 2,153 PG seats during the 2017-18 and 2019-20 period. In 2019-20, 10,565 UG seats and 2,153 PG seats have increased, he said.
“The government has taken several steps to increase the number of seats in various medical educational institutes and medical colleges across the country,” the minister said.
Right now, there were around 75,000 MBBS seats for the students who qualified the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test.
The minister told the House that it had been made mandatory for all medical colleges to start PG courses within three years of the recognition of their MBBS course. New medical colleges were being established by upgrading district and referral hospitals, preferably in under-served districts.
Harsh Vardhan informed the members in the written response that 82 new medical colleges are being set up under a centrally-sponsored scheme. Under the scheme, the Centre would provide 60 per cent of the funding and the state concerned would provide the rest. “The total cost of establishment of one medical college is Rs 189 crore. Funds to the tune of Rs 7,507.70 crore have been released to the state and Union territory governments for the approved medical colleges under the scheme,” he said.