11 May, 2021

Magic Numbers

How Azad manufactured medical seats

Jitender Gupta
Magic Numbers

Easy Way Out

  • Government medical colleges with teaching hospitals having 1,000 or more beds can now have 250 instead of 150 MBBS seats. This adds 3,625 seats.
  • Teacher-student ratio for PG has been relaxed from 1:1 to 1:2. Colleges can apply for PG courses in their 3rd instead of 5th year.
  • Faculty retirement age raised from 65 to 70 years
  • PGs from 5 English-speaking countries can now teach in India


With as few as six per 10,000 people, there can be no doubt India is woefully short of doctors. In comparison, China has 10, and western countries have, on average, more than 20. To address the shortage, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad decided last year to increase the number of MBBS and PG seats in government medical colleges by 5,000 and 10,000 respectively. A year on, the ministry says it has achieved over half the target: 3,625 MBBS seats and 7,470 PG seats.

However, such dispatch, unusual in...

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