The Union Health Ministry has approved new amendments according to which all the existing medical colleges will have to start PG courses from the academic year 2020-21. The amendments have been made to the Post-Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, of the Medical Council of India (MCI). The regulations will also apply to new medical colleges. They will be required to start PG courses within three years of receiving recognition for running undergraduate courses. The amendments have been approved by the ministry and the new regulations would be notified soon.

The institutions failing to do so will lose their recognition. An inspection will be carried out by the MCI before giving its approval for increasing seats for 2019-20 academic session.

“The move is aimed at addressing the scarcity of doctors in the country. Once the amendments get implemented, around 10,000 post-graduate seats would be created over the next four years,” the official said. The official said medical colleges will have to apply for new seats for starting PG courses.

In his budget presentation on February 1 this year, Finance Minister had announced an increase of 8,058 PG seats (4,058 in Phase-l by 2018-19 and 4,000 in Phase-ll by 2020-21).

Later, a Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had given its approval for the increase of PG seats under Phase-II.

This will entail an amount of Rs 3,024 crore as central share to be spent till 2021-22 out of which an amount of Rs 1,700 crore is proposed to be spent till 2019-20 while Rs 317.24 crore as balance central share will be spent for Phase-I of PG seats.