Published: 16th October 2021
RTI query reveals 157 new medical colleges approved since 2014; total number of medical colleges stands at 554
MoHFW said that Rs 2,451.1 crore has been provided under CSS since 2014 for the upgradation of existing state/central government medical colleges to increase the number of MBBS seats in the country
A total of 157 new medical colleges have been approved under centrally-sponsored schemes in the country since 2014 and funds amounting to 17,691.08 crore were spent on them, according to an official response to an RTI query.
In response to the query filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said there are 554 medical colleges, including 286 government-run and 268 private, citing data available with the National Medical Commission (NMC).
Responding to Noida-based RTI activist Amit Gupta's query on the number of medical colleges in the country and the government aid they received in the last ten years, MoHFW said its medical education (ME-II) section is administering one of the centrally-sponsored schemes (CSS) for the establishment of new medical colleges attached to existing district/referral hospitals.
"Under the scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved across the country in three phases. The first phase of this scheme was launched in 2014. A fund of Rs 17,691.08 crore has been spent by the central government during this period," the ministry stated.
On any annual financial aid provided by the Centre over the last 10 years, the ministry said, "About Rs 2,451.1 crore has been provided under CSS since 2014 for the upgradation of existing state government/central government medical colleges to increase MBBS seats in the country."
These figures mentioned were from 2014 onwards, in response to the RTI query. The ministry said, "Under CSS, for strengthening and upgradation of state government medical colleges, for starting new PG disciplines and increasing PG seats, the central government has spent Rs 1,743.89 crore from 2009-10 till date." However, the ministry stated that no "annual" help under CSS of ME-II sections is provided to government medical colleges.