Following an in-depth assessment by the Medical Council of India, the Union Health Ministry has stopped 82 medical colleges from accepting new students. This move is likely to put even greater pressure on a system that has seen some repercussions of institutes losing credibility due to negligent practices by their boards, in many states across India. The primary concern among students is of being denied a chance to pursue their dreams of being doctors, because an already competitive field of study has become more so with tens of thousands of seats for admission being taken off the table.
Of the institutions who have been put on notice, 70 are private institutions. This move also comes in conjunction with the government denying permission for the setting up of an additional 68 medical schools, 31 of which would have been government institutions. The total number of admission seats that have been lost with this move are estimated to be close to 20,000. The government went further still, prohibiting an additional 31 existing institutions from establishing or expanding the number of seats in their existing courses. The primary areas of focus in this last order were the specializations such as nephrology and cardiology, among others.
This move is seen as a turnaround by the BJP government, which until recently given the go-ahead for 58 new medical colleges to be set up, which would be directly attached to district hospitals around the country, with an additional 24 government-funded medical colleges that would have been completed by 2022, at the latest. The growing demand for seats in medical science fields seems to have taken a temporary backward step, as the government and Union Health Ministry deal with issues of the quality of education being delivered across institutions.