Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya asserts government’s commitment towards improving Access to Quality Education for the younger generation

“Through concerted efforts of Government, there has been a significant increase of 87% in MBBS seats and a massive 105% increase observed in PG seats in last eight years”. Union Health Minister, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya stated that while briefing media, while reiterating the government’s commitment towards bringing a drastic paradigm shift in education in the country. He further emphasised said that “Since 2014, several steps have been taken to ease the access to quality education in the country for the younger generation”. He underlined the impact of several initiatives taken under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr. Mandaviya said that “we can see change happening at every nook and corner of the country.” He was also hopeful that with this momentum and coordination among stakeholders, we will be able to create a holistic ecosystem of education in the country.

Union Health Minister said that “since the Modi government came into power, concerted efforts have been taken to train and improve the affordability and accessibility to quality education for our students.” Informing about the massive change in the medical education sector, Dr. Mandaviya said that “While India had a limited number of 387 medical colleges in 2014, the system was riddled with far too many problems.

Union Health Minister further stated that “There is a paradigm shift from input-based to outcome-based approaches and reforms under Modi government. Consequentially, we now have 648 medical colleges in 2022 with a whopping 96% increase in the number of Government Medical Colleges (GMC) alone and a 42% increase in the private sector, since 2014. At present, out of 648 medical colleges in the country, 355 are Government and 293 are Private. MBBS seats have also seen a massive 87% increase from 51,348 in 2014 to 96,077 in 2022. Similarly, PG seats have observed an increase of 105% with 31,185 seats in 2014 to 63,842 in 2022.”

He said that with a vision to create 10,000 MBBS seats in Government Medical Colleges (GMC), 58 colleges across 16 States have been approved with an increase of 3,877 MBBS seats. Similarly, to increase PG seats, 72 medical colleges in 21 States/ UTs have been approved in phase I, with an increase of 4,058 PG seats. To create 4,000 PG seats in the GMCs, in phase II, a total of 47 colleges have been approved with an increase of 2,975 PG seats.

Emphasizing on correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable and reliable tertiary healthcare, Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was launched. The program targets establishment of AIIMS likes institutions and the upgradation of existing GMCs (by establishing super-speciality blocks) in a phased manner. 22 new AIIMS and projects for the up-gradation of 75 Government medical colleges were taken up under the scheme.

For fair examination and selection process, a common entrance test- National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for ‘one country, one examination, one merit’ system was introduced in 2016 with and a common counselling system. This allowed students from anywhere in India an opportunity to study in any medical college in the country based on merit.

National Medical Commission (NMC) was also created to replace the highly corrupt body of Medical Council of India (MCI). NMC will modernize the regulatory regime governing medical education. Besides streamlining all the existing regulations, the conduct of a common exit exam NEXT, prescription of fee guidelines, setting the standards for Community Health Providers and rating of medical colleges are being done. Before the NMC Act, there was no legal mechanism to regulate the fee charged by private colleges. Now the guidelines in respect of fees for 50% seats in all colleges including Government, Private and Deemed Universities have been released by the NMC.

Parallelly, reforms are ongoing in the sectors of Nursing Education, Dental Education and Allied and Healthcare professions. A new National allied and Healthcare Professions Act 2021 has also been enacted. Similarly, on the lines of the NMC, the Dental Council of India and the Indian Nursing Council are also being reformed through new legislation.

“During COVID, we saw that our Medical Workforce played a crucial role of COVID warriors, but faced several challenges too like access to classroom education etc. In this regard, several steps were taken, DIKSHA platform (one nation, one digital platform) was one of them. It is the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content for school education in states/UTs. QR coded Energized Textbooks for all grades are available with 35 of the 36 states and UTs have now on boarded on platform and contextualised the content as per the local need”, the Union Health Minister stated.

He further stated that “Televised lectures for class 1-12 through one class, one channel of Swayam Prabha initiative was well appreciated. Other initiatives like Radio, Community radio and CBSE Podcast- Shiksha Vani, special e-content for visually and hearing impaired developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube and MANODARPAN’ initiative to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing were taken during the COVID pandemic”.

Listing few flagship initiatives of Government of India, Dr. Mandaviya said that “through Swacchhta Abhiyan itself, 4.5 lakh toilets were made in schools and the drop-out rates especially for girl students have substantially decreased from17% to 13% in the country.”

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