New Delhi: Aspirants aiming to study medicine in AIIMS-like institutes have reasons to cheer now as 300 more MBBS seats will be available from September this year.

The bonanza comes in the wake of the government's decision to make the much-awaited six AIIMS-like institutes in the country operational and start MBBS admissions from September.

Each such institute would be allowed to admit 50 students in the first year and once the infrastructure in these establishments is in place, the induction at the MBBS level would be raised to 100 taking the annually availability of seats to 600, officials said.

The admissions to new institutes will be based on the scores of candidates who appeared for the AIIMS MBBS Entrance Test 2012, which was taken by almost 80,000 students this year and the result for which is likely to be declared soon. At present, the New Delhi AIIMS selects 77 candidates annually.

These medical centres are coming up in Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Raipur and Bhopal.

The decision to start these establishments was taken on Wednesday after Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad chaired a meeting to review progress on the ground. These institutes are being constructed under 'Pradhan Mantri Gramin Swasthya Yojana'.

During the review, it was pointed out that in the new AIIMS-like institutes except for Raipur where only 52 percent of the infrastructure work has been completed, the rest are nearing 80 per cent completion of physical targets.

The opening of the medical institutes in underserved regions is significant, considering these areas have a meager share in the national availability of MBBS seats and colleges. They would in a way help to correct the existing imbalance in the availability of public health resources, the officials said.

With their coming into operation, the overall availability of MBBS seats in India would rise to 41,869 annually. Right now, students compete for 41,569 MBBS seats in 335 medical colleges across India every year.

The additional 300 seats would boost Health Ministry’s commitment to improve the doctor patient ratio in the country from a poor 1:2000 to 1:1000 by 2021.

By 2021, the plan is also to take the overall availability of MBBS seats to 80,000 from the present 41,569 and of PG seats to 45,000 from the current 22,194. The aim is to tide over doctors' shortage currently pegged at around 8 lakh.

Government data show that 66 per cent of the existing 335 medical colleges and 69 per cent of the existing MBBS seats are presently located in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa.

During the review, Azad asked the states especially Chhattisgarh to expedite the work. Sources said permission to admit students at MBBS level in the new institutes was granted because in the first year only pre-clinical subjects like anatomy and physiology were taught. These don’t require attachment to hospitals, the officials said.

So far, only Patna and Bhopal AIIMS have their Directors in place. The appointment of the rest of the heads is pending with the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

This time, Azad has taken an undertaking from applicants for Directors' posts that they would go to serve the new colleges if they are appointed. Earlier, some candidates had backed out after appointment orders were issued.

(Agencies)

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