Andhra Pradesh gov't allocates funds to add 630 new PG seats. Here are some reactions

Efforts are being made to establish 17 new medical colleges in the state and this might help address the shortage of specialists in hospitals
Image for representational purposes only | (Pic: Express)
Image for representational purposes only | (Pic: Express)

The Andhra Pradesh state government has allocated Rs 756 crore under a centrally-sponsored scheme to strengthen and upgrade the government medical colleges, offer more postgraduate (PG) disciplines and increase the number of PG seats in the state.

What does a breakdown of this fund look like? Well, The New Indian Express reported that according to available data, a sum of Rs 1.2 crore per seat would be allocated to improve facilities in government medical colleges for PG students. MoUs were also signed to release 60% of the fund, that is Rs 453.6 crore as the share of the Central government. The state government successfully obtained permissions for 311 additional seats between 2019-22 in addition to the 831 PG medical seats available till 2019. Subject to the state fulfilling the norms of NMC in time by the next academic year, the seats in AP are expected to be doubled.

Speaking to TNIE, Principal Secretary, MT Krishna Babu said that there is a shortage of specialists in hospitals in the state even after issuing several recruitment notifications. "Efforts are being made to establish 17 new medical colleges in the state, in all of which the need for specialists and assistant professors is high. If the PG seats are increased in the state, the deficit can be compensated to some extent. We have started filling the posts of professors, associate and assistant professors in colleges and also completed the process of promotions of the faculty that has been pending for years," he added.

He added, "The allocation of funds for 630 PG seats is delightful. From amongst this, 60% share is from the Central government and 40% share will be spent by the state government. In addition, Nadu-Nedu funds will also be utilised for the construction of additional rooms, operation theatres and machinery and for increasing the number of beds in the colleges and related hospitals. Even if we exclude 5-10% seats that were not completed during the NMC inspections, around 1,700 PG seats could be made available by 2023-24."

Next challenge: Getting NMC's approval on time
State President of the AP Government Doctors Association, Dr Jayadheer told TNIE, "This is a welcome development. Due to this, there is also a possibility of increasing in-service seats. I request the government to get NMC approvals for the 630 seats. However, measures should be taken to ensure that students are provided with quality education so that professors are also proportionate," he said. The doctors' wing of the YSR Congress Party said that this is the biggest achievement of the government. The Vice-Chancellor of the Dr YSR University of Health Sciences, Prof Dr Shyama also commended the move.

Even after getting a nod for the allocation of funds from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the respective additional 630 seats will be included in the current list only after the satisfaction of the National Medical Council (NMC). TNIE reported that getting the seats approved by the NMC in time is the challenge before the state government now. This year as well, during the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET PG) counselling, a few seats were cancelled by the NMC for failing inspections at the 11th hour.

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