State of Medical Education In India

 

Context:

 

  • The war in Ukraine has turned the spotlight on something that has been the trend for about three decades now.
  • According to estimates from Ukraine, reported in the media, around 18,000 Indian students are in Ukraine.
  • For about three decades now, Indian students have been heading out to Russia, China, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, the Philippines to pursue a medical degree.

 

Background:

 

  • In NEET 2021, as per a National Testing Agency press release, 16.1 lakh students registered for the exam, 15.4 lakh students appeared for the test, and 8.7 lakh students qualified.
  • Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health, told the Lok Sabha in December 2021, that as per data from the National Medical Commission (NMC), in 2021-22, there were 596 medical colleges in the country with a total of 88,120 MBBS seats.

 

Legal Procedure:

  • The Medical Council of India and the Dental Council of India were set up under ACTs of Parliament with a view to regulate medical and dental education in the country.
  • Under the provisions of Regulations of the two statuary bodies, no medical or dental college can be established or increase their capacity without prior approval of the Central Government.
  • As per section 10A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and the Destistry Act, 1948, the Central Government’s permission to such colleges are granted initially for one year, i.e., for admitting only one batch of students in a calendar year.
  • The permissions are to be renewed on yearly basis after verification of achievements of annual targets.
  • This process is continued till such time the full required infrastructure is created and recognition is granted under the relevant Act.
  • All the undergraduate and postgraduate medical degrees/diplomas awarded by various Universities and Medical Institutions which are recognised under section 11(2) of the IMC Act, 1956 along with the names of the Institutions approved for conducting each course are also indicated alongside.
  • This does not include some of the postgraduate degrees/ diplomas awarded by some Universities which were started by the concerned institutions prior to the commencement of the IMC (Amendment) Act, 1993 with the approval of the State Governments/ Universities.
  • The Institutions concerned are requested to apply to the Central Government for recognition of such degrees/diplomas under section 11(2) of the IMC Act, 1956 through the affiliating Universities at the earliest as until then theses degrees would continue to remain unrecognised for the purposes of the Act.

 

Why the students prefer going abroad?

 

  • The medium of education for these students is English, a language they are comfortable with
  • The amount spent on living and the medical degree are far more affordable than paying for an MBBS seat in private medical colleges in India.
  • The desire to study medicine still holds a lot of value in the Indian community.
  • While it retains the prestige of an honourable profession, there is a great deal of aspirational zeal in taking up medicine.
  • There are over 596 medical colleges in the country with a total of 88,120 MBBS seats, these colleges are also not distributed evenly across the country, with States such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala having many more colleges.
  • The costs of an MBBS degree in a Government college tot up to a few lakhs of rupees for the full course, but in a private medical college, it can go up to ₹1 crore for the five-year course.

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Who should invest?

 

  • Prime Minister Modi emphasised that more private medical colleges must be set up in the country to aid more people to take up MBBS, medical education experts have called for pause on the aspect.
  • If the aim is to make medicine more accessible to students of the country, the path ahead is not in the private sector, but in the public sector, with the Central and State governments’ involvement, they point out.
  • From 2003, the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana has been working to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.
  • State and Central governments can start more medical colleges, as recommended by NITI Aayog, by utilising district headquarters hospitals, and expanding the infrastructure.
  • This way, students from the lower and middle socio-economic rung, who are otherwise not able to access medical seats, will also benefit.
  • To address shortage of qualified doctors and bridge gap in medical education, the Niti Aayog has come out with the public-private partnership model to link new or existing private medical colleges with functional district hospital to augment medical seats.

 

Source The Hindu

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