NEW DELHI: In more good news for medical aspirants this year, the Centre has approved an additional 4,465 seats in medical colleges, taking the total number of MBBS seats to nearly 79,000. The new additions are a result of up to a 25 per cent increase in MBBS seats in nearly 120 government medical colleges in 17 states to accommodate 10 per cent Economically Weaker Section (EWS) students, as per the government’s new policy.
This newspaper had earlier reported that over 4,503 medical seats have been increased this year by May end, as compared to 2018, registering the biggest ever jump in MBBS seats in a single year. The bump in seats is a result of a leeway given to colleges to demand more seats to accommodate EWS students without tinkering with the number of seats offered to students belonging to general quota.
Officials said states have been asked to send the revised number of seats by June 28. “We are expecting a rise of nearly 500 seats, as 6 states are likely to send the revised lists in a few days,” a senior official said. The increase of seats to facilitate the EWS quota is in the range of 10-50 in most medical colleges and the largest beneficiary would be Maharashtra, where 900-plus seats have been created.
Amidst concerns that norms are being overlooked to create more seats, chairman of medical education regulator, Medical Council of India-Board of Governors, VK Paul said that the move was aimed at allowing medical colleges to stretch “within their resources”. “To address the issue of faculty shortage, we are asking medical colleges to hire retired army doctors and DNB specialists,” Paul said.