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NEW DELHI : The Government has given a nod to as many as 157 new medical colleges in India since 2014 and has invested a total of 17,691.08 crore on these projects, union health ministry said on Sunday.

On completion, nearly 16,000 undergraduate medical seats would be added, it said. Of these, 6,500 seats have already been created with the functioning of 64 new medical colleges, said the government.

Under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), the Central Government has also provided about 2,451.1 crore for upgrading existing state government or central government medical colleges to increase MBBS seats in the country.

“Government of India 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 and but also geographic disparity in availability of medical care," the health ministry said in a statement.

This, the ministry said is implemented by establishing of new Medical Colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals, upgrading existing state government/Central government medical colleges to increase MBBS seats in the country and strengthening and upgrading state government medical colleges for starting new PG disciplines and increasing PG seats.

Under the Scheme, medical colleges are established in Districts which do not have either a Government or private medical college. Preference is given to undeserved / backward / aspirational Districts.

Under three phases of the scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved, out 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.

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 Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for up-gradation of existing State Government/Central Government medical colleges to increase MBBS seats, the ministry said.

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 1.20 crore per seat.48 colleges in 15 states has been approved for increase of 3,325 seats with 6,719.11 crore released as Central Share, said the government.

Strengthening and upgradation of State Government Medical colleges for starting new PG disciplines and increasing PG seats has been undertaken in two phases.

Phase-I of the scheme was launched in the XI Plan period with the objective of strengthening and upgrading State/Central Government Medical Colleges to create new PG seats. A total of 72 Government Medical colleges in 21 States/UTs have been approved under the scheme for increasing 4,058 PG seats. Funds to the tune of 1,049.3578 crore have been released under the scheme till date.

The objective of the Phase-II of the scheme was to create 4,000 PG seats in Government Colleges in the country. 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 1.20 crore per seat. A total of 16 Government Medical Colleges have been approved under the scheme for increasing 1,741 PG seats till date. Funds to the tune of 6,94.534 crore have been released under the scheme till date.

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, utilizing existing infrastructure of district hospitals and improving tertiary care in the Government sector.

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