NEW DELHI: The number of MBBS seats on offer for the new academic year has increased by over 4,500 as compared to last year, marking probably the sharpest rise in intake in medical colleges in a year in India.
A total of 74,215 students will get admission into MBBS course with government medical colleges accounting for 36,222 seats. Last year, the total seat count was 69,712.
The data submitted by The Medical Council Of India-Board of Governors (MCI-BOG) to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, accessed by this newspaper, shows 33 new medical colleges have been permitted this year, most of which are district hospitals upgraded into teaching shops.
“The significant rise in the number of MBBS seats is also due to many medical colleges offering more seats under the new Economically Weaker Section quota and the relaxed rules that allow colleges to increase their student uptake,” a ministry official said.
The sharp rise in the numbers compensates to an extent the loss of 7,500-odd MBBS seats in the last academic year, as many existing medical colleges were not allowed to take new admissions by the MCI.
However, some medical education experts sounded a note of caution.
“MCI-BOG has adopted a new MBBS updated curriculum that focuses more on hands-on practice for students’ clinical and behavioural training, for which training of the existing faculty is still underway,” said Satendra Singh of University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi. “There is already shortage of faculty. To pack the classrooms with more students could impact the quality of education.”
UP to be the biggest beneficiary
The biggest beneficiary of the increased seats is UP where 7,102 students will get into MBBS this year as against 6,499 last year