NEW DELHI: The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has decided to re-notify nearly 550 postgraduate diploma seats in 54 medical colleges in the country for the upcoming academic session.
These medical colleges are in both government and private sectors.
Sources in the government said that last year, the Ministry had directed the medical education regulator to convert all 2,200 PG diploma seats, also called medical diploma, in various colleges into MD/ MS seats with a view to augmenting or increasing the number of PG seats for MBBS pass-outs.
“The Medical Council of India-Board of Governors then carried out a detailed assessment of the colleges. It was found that 548 such seats could not be converted into PG seats at any cost, as the colleges did not have resources to conduct PG classes,” a senior Ministry official in the medical education division told this newspaper.
The remaining 1,650 diploma seats were converted in full-fledged PG seats.
The government, therefore, has now decided to re-notify 548 medical seats, without which students would have missed out on opportunities to pursue even diploma courses in those colleges, the official added.
Admission to diploma seats in medical colleges is done only at the level of the institute, unlike PG courses for which a national-level PG-NEET is conducted.
Doctors holding diploma degree can practice as specialists in fields in which they have earned their diplomas, but are not eligible to teach in medical colleges.
Across the country, there are a total of about 45,000 PG seats on offer and in last few years, the regulator has relaxed several norms, including student-teacher ratio, in a bid to increase PG seats in the country.
Previously, one professor could guide two PG students but now, he can guide three.
An associate professor heading a unit of a government or private medical facility, who could only guide one PG student previously, can now guide two, as per changed norms.