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150 more MBBS seats in state soon

Ranchi, Jan. 11: The Centre has given its go-ahead for increasing the number of MBBS seats in three medical colleges of Jharkhand from the existing 350 to a total of 500.

Under this initiative, the seat capacity in Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College (MGMMC), Jamshedpur, and Dhanbad-based Patliputra Medical College (PMC) will go up to 150 each from the existing 100.

Similarly, Ranchi-based Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) will have 200 seats as against 150 now.

According to sources, the Union cabinet on January 9 cleared the proposal to increase MBBS seats by a whopping 10,000, in a move that would also benefit numerous medical colleges across the country.

On January 10, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, who is a frequent visitor to Jharkhand, wrote to chief minister Hemant Soren, informing him about the development.

“Each of the three medical colleges in the state will now have additional 50 seats,” Ramesh stated in the letter.

However, as per Medical Council of India’s (MCI) rules, the three colleges will have to improve their infrastructure and upgrade equipment before initiating the process to increase the seats.

Sources in the state health, medical education and family welfare department said the Centre would bear 70 per cent of the expenses to be incurred for improving facilities, while the state would need to provide around 30 per cent.

In his letter, Ramesh expressed hope that the Jharkhand government would pay attention to the issue and would send detailed proposals to the Union health and family welfare department at the earliest. “I would like Jharkhand to become the first state to implement the scheme,” he said.

The number of seats in MGMMC and PMC was only 50 each till 2012. The capacity was increased to 100 each from the 2013 academic session after a nod from MCI.

Joint secretary (health) B.K. Mishra said they were aware of the latest development and would act accordingly. “It is a welcome move. The Centre has also promised to set up three-four new medical colleges in Jharkhand. We will soon start work on preparing proposals for the proposed colleges and send a detailed report to the Centre,” Mishra told The Telegraph.

Moreover, the Centre has promised Rs 120 crore to upgrade Patliputra Medical College. The state, on the other hand, will have to chip in with another Rs 30 crore and send a detailed project report (DPR) to the Centre soon.

Jharkhand has been facing a paucity of quality doctors for quite some time and the latest move may solve the problem to a great extent.