20 January 2011
PG teacher–student ratio to be 1:2; corporate sector to be allowed to open colleges
Announcing the initiative, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the step was one of a series taken to address the growing shortage of faculty in the health sector.
Speaking at the convocation ceremony of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Azad said he had also relaxed regulations related to teacher–student ratio in post graduate courses. "We have increased the teacher–student ratio from 1:1 to 1:2 for PG course. With this, nearly 10,000 post–graduate students will pass out in another two years," he said.
Other measures included allowing the corporate sector to set up medical colleges and raising the ceiling for MBBS admissions from the 150 seats to 250 seats. To support states with increasing intake in medical colleges, the Union Government will be shelling out Rs 1350 crore. "This initiative alone will enhance the number of PG seats by 5,000 annually," said Azad.
Eligible to teach
Azad also announced that not only those with an MS or MD, but even those with a DNB qualification can teach in medical colleges. The minister said an outlay of Rs 2,900 crore has been approved in the 11th plan for nursing service and a new scheme to open Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery schools and General Nursing and Midwifery schools in un–served districts with a capacity for training 22,000 nurses annually.
"To ease severe paramedical staff shortage in various disciplines, a Rs 1,000–crore outlay has been approved in the 11th plan to set up a National Institute of Paramedical Sciences in New Delhi and eight regional institutes," he said.
The Health Minister also said that the Union Government was paying attention to mental health. Towards this, the Union Government has increased the outlay for the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) from Rs 140 crore to Rs 1,000 crore in the present plan period.
"We recognise that mental health is a neglected area where awareness is low even among health professionals. About 20 per cent of all patients seen by primary health care doctors have one or more mental disorders. One in four families is likely to have at least one member with a behavioural or mental disorder," he said.
Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas said the State Government planned to appoint at least one psychiatrist in every district hospital to promote mental health.