Good Luck, MBBS Applicants! 2018 has 10,000 Fewer Seats For You

The MCI has blocked off 10,000 MBBS seats in 82 medical colleges, saying they cannot accept applicants for 2018-19.

3 min read
The MCI denied permission on the grounds that these colleges did not meet the requirements to dispense medical education and had a number of “deficiencies”. Image used for representation.

The health ministry, in a notification on 31 May, prohibited 82 medical colleges from accepting new applicants to the MBBS course for the academic year 2018-19. This has reduced the number of MBBS seats available in the country for medical applicants, from 64,000 to under 54,000.

The move, The Telegraph reported, has resulted in at least 10,430 fewer medical seats being available to MBBS applicants in 2018.

The government also prohibited the establishment of 68 new medical colleges, which would have added 9,000 MORE seats for more than 7 lakh students who apply for medical seats every year. Of these 68 medical colleges, 31 were government-run and 37 were private, CNN News18 reported.

India would have had 64,000 existing seats + 9,000 new seats = 73,000 more medical seats for hopeful doctors before the Health Ministry’s move. However, this move has effectively blocked off over 19,000 medical college seats (10,340 + 9,000), reducing the number of available seats by a big margin.

The decision announced on 31 May, was based on recommendations from the Medical Council of India (MCI), the regulatory authority that decides whether colleges have the infrastructure, faculty and number of patients required to dispense medical education.

The MCI, in a statement to The Telegraph, cited “deficiencies” in the colleges as the reason for the move.

People want to create things (medical colleges) without realising what the colleges require. 
A statement from the MCI’s academic committee to The Telegraph

Jyoti Krishna Das, Principal of Vardhman Institute of Medical Sciences, one of the government-owned medical colleges named by the Health Ministry, in Pawapuri, Bihar told The Telegraph:

We have a shortage of faculty – but this is a problem shared by medical colleges across India, particularly those far away from large cities. We’re hoping to sail through this.
Jyoti Krishna Das, Principal, Vardhman Institute of Medical Sciences 

The Vardhman institute has trained five batches of medical students so far, The Telegraph reported. The first batch of doctor-hopefuls are presently undergoing their internships.

The list of 82 colleges denied permission to admit new students includes 70 private colleges, and 12 government colleges situated in Uttar Pradesh (4), Bihar (3), Jharkhand (2), Chhattisgarh (1), Karnataka (1) and Kerala (1), according to The Telegraph.

In the list of 68 proposals for new medical colleges which the MCI rejected, 37 are private institutions, including the Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Medical Sciences and Sanaka Hospitals, Durgapur, and the Sarif Medical College and Hospital, Siliguri.

The Director of Sri Ramakrishna Institute, said in a statement to The Telegraph:

We’re surprised by this decision. We have adequate infrastructure and faculty, and we had more than the required volume of patients in the hospital, but the MCI inspection report claimed we lacked enough patients.
Prabir Kumar Sur, Director, Sri Ramakrishna Institute to The Telegraph

In addition to this, the MCI also denied 9 colleges permission to increase the number of medical seats they have, from 50 to 100, preventing the creation of an additional 650 seats, according to The Telegraph.

The center had, on paper, approved a plan to set up 58 medical colleges to be attached to existing district hospitals by 2019. In addition to this, the government had approved plans to establish 24 more government-funded medical colleges by 2021-22.

How the centre plans on accomplishing this, given this development, is still a big question.

(With inputs from The Telegraph, and CNN News18)

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