Parliamentary panel asks govt to increase seats in both undergraduate, postgraduate courses

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There is a need to significantly increase medical seats in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, a parliamentary committee said, noting that the government’s existing scheme of establishing new medical colleges attached to district or referral hospitals can help in achieving this goal.

The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare in its its 157th report “Quality of Medical Education in India” presented in Rajya Sabha noted that the current situation regarding medical seats both in undergraduate and postgraduate courses is a critical issue that warrants immediate attention.

“With an annual influx of approximately 2 million aspiring medical students at UG and only 1/20 times available seats, the demand far exceeds the supply, similarly, the number of available seats at PG level is far less than the demand,” the committee said in its report.

It acknowledged the urgency of addressing this challenge while maintaining the quality of medical education at its highest standard. The panel further recommended to the Union health ministry that it is essential to make optimal use of the existing infrastructure.

Ensuring that all available resources and facilities are utilized efficiently can help accommodate a larger number of students without compromising the quality of education.

Additionally, streamlining the admission process by implementing a standardised national entrance examination can improve fairness and transparency in seat allocation, the panel said.

The committee has taken note of the detailed Minimum Standards Regulations
(UG-MSR) notified on August 16, 2023. While examining the subject, it came across several concerns over some of the guidelines for opening of a new Medical College and also regarding permission to increase the number of undergraduate seats.