Centre to ask MCI to speed up medical college inspection

Aiming to provide a level-playing field to new medical colleges, the Centre has asked the Medical Council of India to complete its inspection of new colleges by January every year so that they can rectify the shortcomings in time for admissions in July.

In 2011, as many as 88 new medical colleges applied for permission, out of which 29 are government-funded and 59 private colleges. A large number of them are from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

But the MCI inspection concluded only in May and the final list of colleges was out in June. This gave little time to colleges to rectify their shortcomings. As per a Supreme Court directive, MBBS classes are to start in the first week of August.

When the issue came up for discussion at the two-day state health ministers’ conference here, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad assured states that MCI would be instructed to complete its job early. Faced with severe shortage of doctors, the Centre plans to significantly increase the number of medical colleges to have 80,000 MBBS seats and 45,000 MD seats by 2021 by setting up many more new medical colleges. The norms to establish new medical colleges are being relaxed.

India currently has 41,569 undergraduate seats and 22,194 post graduate seats.
The states demanded additional examination centres for the National Eligibility and Entrance Test that will be held for the first time in May next year. The CBSE will set up centres in 85 cities – 83 in India and two abroad.

Karnataka, UP, Bihar, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh wanted additional centres because of their their large size. Similarly, Bihar and Assam demanded additional centres for the post-graduate entrance test to be conducted by the National Board of Examination, which would be an on-line test.

Nod to rural service

Azad assured two Karnataka ministers that he would try his best for a quick presidential assent to a Karnataka legislation, which makes rural services mandatory to both MBBS and PG medical students. Speaking to reporters, Karnataka Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas said that the Centre suggested a monthly stipend of Rs 40,000 to doctors during their rural stint.

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