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New Delhi : The Government of India ( GoI) has given nod to as many as 157 new medical colleges in the country since 2014 and has invested a total of Rs 17,691.08 crore on these projects. On completion, nearly 16,000 undergraduate medical seats would be added. Of these, 6,500 seats have already been created with the functioning of 64 new Medical Colleges.

Under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), the Central Government has also provided about Rs 2,451.1 crore for upgradation of existing state government or central government medical colleges to increase MBBS seats in the country. The GoI has relentlessly pursued the aim of cultivating more human resources through Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) that seek to address not only the issues of equity in medical education but also geographic disparity in availability of medical care. Under the Scheme, medical colleges are established in Districts which do not have either a Government or private medical college. Preference is given to underserved / backward / Aspirational Districts.

Under three phases of the scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved of which 63 medical colleges are already functional. Of the 157 new colleges that are being established under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, 39 are being set up in Aspirational Districts, according to a PIB release.

As per the scheme guidelines, the State Government is the implementing agency and the planning, execution, and commissioning of the projects is to be done by the State Government.

With the objective of creating 10,000 MBBS seats in Government Colleges in the country, the Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for up-gradation of existing State Government/Central Government medical colleges to increase MBBS seats.

The funding pattern is 90:10 by Central and State Governments respectively for North Eastern States and Special category States and 60:40 for other States with the upper ceiling cost pegged at Rs 1.20 crore per seat.

This Central Sector Scheme was envisaged to bridge the shortfall in manpower in the Medical Sector as also to bridge the geographical imbalance in availability of trained medical manpower across the country. Major milestones being achieved by the Scheme include increasing availability of health professionals, correcting existing geographical imbalance in the distribution of medical colleges, promoting affordable medical education, utilising existing infrastructure of district hospitals and improving tertiary care in the Government sector.