With the nod from the Centre, the government medical colleges in J&K might be able to increase seats, but this has led to a new worry for the faculty and students as they feel that the new move would not be fruitful until the state government starts improving the dilapidated infrastructure.
Last week, the Centre accepted the state government's proposal to increase seats by 50 in three medical colleges. The intake capacity of government medical colleges (GMC) in Srinagar and Jammu has been increased from 100 to 150, in SKIMS Medical College and Bemina seats have been doubled from 50 to 100. GMCs got their seats reviewed for the first time in 40 years with this new move, which will be applicable from this academic session.
As of now, Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu, (GMCH) students have to attend classes in the cramped lecture halls, built around 20 years ago.
The classrooms also lack ventilation and air-conditioning (AC). To worsen the case a batch of 50 students of Government Dental College, Jammu, also comes at GMCH for classes every day.
Sources in GMCH said, "As of now, the college is facing 37% shortage of faculty. The handful teachers have to shuttle between students and patients all the day. Now with the increase in seats, they would have to deal with more pressure."
"The existing infrastructure cannot serve more than 100 students," the source added.GMCH principal Shashi Gupta said, "We have some shortcomings, like shortage of faculty for which we have already advertised the posts. Also few classrooms have to build, which too will be constructed in near future."
"Moreover, the government has given us three years to upgrade infrastructure of labs and lecture halls at GMCH, Jammu. I expect all requirements will be fulfilled much earlier," she added.
Head of Bio-Chemistry department, Dr Amarjeet Singh Bhatia said, "It is a good opportunity for the aspiring students seeking admission in government medical colleges. We will try to improve the existing infrastructure, but for that we need funds."
"Last week, a student got fainted in the class, which has no AC. In this sultry weather, it's becoming quite difficult to attend classes," a third-year MBBS student of GMCH told HT.Now the students and the college authorities are looking forward to the state government to improve the infrastructure in order to make the most of the Centre's approval.