Quantity over quality? NMC's move to approve 113 medical colleges amidst NEET row questioned

Out of the newly approved medical colleges in the country, Uttar Pradesh has received the highest share, with approval for 22 new medical colleges
Quantity over quality? NMC's move to approve 113 medical colleges amidst NEET row questioned
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In a major development for India’s medical education sector, as many as 113 new medical colleges have received approval from the National Medical Commission (NMC).

This announcement comes at a time when medical education in India is facing a huge backlash from the public owing to the National Eligibility and Entrance Test - Undergraduate (NEET UG) irregularities. The Supreme Court is set to hear 38 petitions regarding the re-conduct of NEET-UG 2024 today, July 8.

While an addition of almost 15,000 new MBBS seats bringing relief to aspiring medical candidates, this new development has also received criticism from the medical community.

Taking to social media platform X, Dr Dheeraj K, Addiction & General Adult Psychiatrist at AIIMS Delhi, wrote, “MBBS docs will be unemployable with dilution of standards. The bright ones who are employable will be unemployed due to oversupply.”

Netizens have also shared concerns about the persisting faculty shortage in the existing medical colleges.

Another medico, Dr Banwari Lal Bairwa, head of the Minimal Access Surgery Department at MP Birla Hospital and Research Centre Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, wrote on X, “Many existing medical colleges are facing lack of facilities and shortage of faculties. Single assistant professor running the department and rest of ghost/dummy faculties are only for NMC purpose! Who cares about quality and standards of medical education?”

Dr Rishi Raj Singh, a senior resident at AIIMS Delhi and the National Secretary of the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), expressed that while addition of new medical seats is a significant step, it is crucial to ensure that the quality of medical education is maintained.

 “Absolutely, establishment of new medical colleges is significant step forward for medical education and healthcare in country. However, ensuring that these institutions have timely & adequate faculty recruitment is crucial to maintaining high educational standards of students,” he wrote on X, today, July 8.

Another doctor and a member of the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA), Dr Saurab S Sachar, wrote, “It’s raining MBBS seats. Not sure if there has been a commensurate increase in genuine faculty and infrastructure for the same year after year. May be prudent to be a bit more cautious by the authorities.”

 A few netizens also expressed the need for an increase in postgraduate medical seats in the country.

Out of the newly approved medical colleges in the country, Uttar Pradesh has received the highest share, with approval for 22 new medical colleges, followed by Maharashtra (14) and Rajasthan (12).

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