A parliamentary committee has highlighted the urgent need for a substantial increase in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical seats. This call comes in light of the current shortage of seats, with demand far surpassing supply. According to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, in its 157th report titled “Quality of Medical Education in India,” the situation demands immediate attention.
The committee stated, “With an annual influx of approximately 2 million aspiring medical students at the undergraduate level and only 1/20th of available seats, the demand far exceeds the supply. Similarly, the number of available seats at the postgraduate level is far less than the demand.”
Recognising the urgency of this issue, the committee emphasised the importance of maintaining the highest standard of medical education while addressing the shortage of seats. It suggested leveraging the existing infrastructure more effectively to accommodate a larger number of students without compromising educational quality.
One key recommendation was to implement a standardised national entrance examination to streamline the admission process, ensuring fairness and transparency in seat allocation.
The committee acknowledged the comprehensive Minimum Standards Regulations (UG-MSR) issued on August 16, 2023. During its examination, the committee identified various concerns regarding the guidelines for establishing new medical colleges and obtaining approval to expand undergraduate seat numbers.
In the academic year 2024-2025, approval will be granted for an increase in MBBS seats by 50, 100, and 150 seats.
The committee observed that, according to guidelines, provisions for infrastructure and faculty positions exist for 200 and 250-seat increments at different locations. Additionally, it noted that numerous medical colleges already have 200 and 250 seats.
However, the committee declared that, as per the guidelines, a college, whether new or old, may be considered for authorisation to expand the number of undergraduate seats up to a maximum of 250 in phases, provided the required infrastructure and teaching positions are in place.