Medical aspirants across states rise, get 72 new institutes
While states like Karnataka and Maharashtra were the top choice for most medical aspirants, an increasing number of new institutes have been approved in Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh between 2017 and 2019.Updated: Jun 30, 2019 07:32 IST
The increased demand for undergraduate medical admissions has paved the way for 72 new colleges across the country in the last three years, taking the total count to 529. Data from the ministry of health and family welfare shows that new colleges have been approved across states – including 37 in the 2019-20 academic year – to accommodate more aspirants. In Maharashtra, three new institutes have been approved, taking the total count to 53.
“The demand for medical education is ever-increasing and the Central and state governments are doing everything in their capacity to ensure students have enough colleges. Funds are being generated and by 2020, more undergraduate as well as postgraduate medical and dental colleges will be announced in our state,” said a senior official from the state medical education department, on condition of anonymity.
While states like Karnataka and Maharashtra were the top choice for most medical aspirants, especially because of the high concentration of institutes, an increasing number of new institutes have been approved in Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh over the last three years.
“The ministry is implementing a Centrally-sponsored scheme for the establishment of new medical colleges attached to existing district/referral hospitals. Fifty-eight districts in 20 states and Union territories have been identified and approved under the first phase of this scheme,” said Ashwini Kumar Choubey, minister of health and family welfare, in response to a question raised in the Lok Sabha recently on Friday. He said the fund sharing ratio between the Centre and states under the scheme is 90:10 for states in Northeast and special category states whereas the ratio stands at 60:40 for other states.
Over 15 lakh students appeared for the undergraduate National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in May 2019, up from 13.26 lakh aspirants for NEET-UG last year. Once again this year, the maximum number of registrations is from Maharashtra where 2.19 lakh students appeared for the entrance exam, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, with 1.57 lakh and 1.40 lakh students respectively. There were 99,711 students from Rajasthan and 84,443 students from Bihar.
While government officials have highlighted the need for new medical colleges across Maharashtra, parents have pointed out appropriate infrastructure to accommodate more medical students is a must. “Over the past few years, many complaints have come from students allotted UG medical seats in far-flung rural areas of the country where students are struggling with ill-trained faculty or shortage of equipment while practical sessions. Approval of colleges is of no use if a decent student-teacher ratio is not maintained,” said Aarti Maleshwari, a parent and activist.