The number of MBBS seats has increased by 87 percent over the past eight years and that of PG by 105 percent, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Thursday.
While interacting with reporters outside parliament, Mandaviya stressed that several steps have been taken since 2014 to facilitate access to quality education in the country for the younger generation.
Highlighting the impact of various initiatives taken under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime, he said change can be seen in every nook and corner of the country. With this momentum and coordination between stakeholders, a holistic education ecosystem will be created in the country.
Mandaviya highlighted the change in the medical training sector, saying, “Although India had a limited number of 387 medical colleges in 2014, the system was riddled with far too many problems.” approaches and reforms under the Modi government. Consequently, we now have 648 medical colleges in 2022 with a whopping 96 pc. increase in the number of Government Medical Colleges (GMC) alone and an increase of 42 pc. in the private sector, since 2014,” he said.
“At present, out of 648 medical colleges in the country, 355 are government-owned and 293 are private,” added Mandaviya.
The minister said: “MBBS seats have also seen a massive 87 percent increase from 51,348 in 2014 to 96,077 in 2022. Similarly, PG seats have seen a 105 percent increase with 31,185 seats in 2014 to 63,842 in 2022.” He said with a vision to create 10,000 MBBS seats in government medical colleges, 58 colleges in 16 states have been approved with an increase of 3,877 MBBS seats.
Similarly, to increase PG seats, 72 medical colleges in 21 states and UTs have been approved in Phase I, with an increase of 4,058 PG seats, he said.
To create 4,000 PG seats in the GMCs, a total of 47 colleges have been approved in Phase II with an increase of 2,975 PG seats, he added.
To correct regional imbalances in the availability of affordable and reliable tertiary health care, Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was launched, which aims at the establishment of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS)-like institutions and the upgrade of existing Phased GMCs through the establishment of super specialty blocks, the minister said.
22 new AIIMS and projects to upgrade 75 government medical colleges were included under the scheme, he said.
A common entrance test – National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for ‘one country, one exam, one merit’ system introduced in 2016 with a common guidance system enabled students from anywhere in India to study in any medical college in the country based on merit, he said.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) was also established to replace the highly corrupt body of the Medical Council of India (MCI). Before the NMC Act, there was no legal mechanism to regulate the fee charged by private colleges. “Now the guidelines regarding fees for 50 percent seats in all colleges including government, private and supposed universities have been released by the NMC,” said Mandaviya.
At the same time, reforms are underway in the nursing education, dental education and related and healthcare professions sectors, he said.
“During Covid, we saw that our medical staff played a vital role as Covid fighters but also faced different challenges such as access to classroom education etc. Several steps were taken in this regard, the DIKSHA platform (one country, one digital platform) became one of them. It is the country’s digital infrastructure for delivering quality e-content for school education in states and territories of the Union,” he said.
“QR-encoded Energized Textbooks for all classes are available with 35 of the 36 states and UTs now onboard the platform and have contextualized the content according to local need,” the union’s health minister stated.
He said, “Televised lectures for grades 1-12 through one class, one channel of the Swayam Prabha initiative was much appreciated.” Other initiatives such as Radio, Community Radio and CBSE Podcast-Shiksha Vani, special e-content for the visually and hearing impaired developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY).
In sign language on the NIOS website and YouTube and MANODARPAN’s initiative to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional well-being was taken during the COVID pandemic, the minister said.
Listing some of the flagship initiatives of the Government of India, Mandaviya said, “Through Swacchhta Abhiyan itself, 4.5 lakh toilets were made in schools and dropout rates, especially for girl students, have dropped significantly from 17 pc. to 13 percent in the country. .”
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