Political rhetoric apart, the Central-sponsored scheme to set up medical colleges in Odisha has worked wonders in increasing the MBBS seats under the government quota. Medical undergraduate seats in the State have grown by 2.5 times in the span of the last 5 years.
The Modi government's scheme has altered the MBBS seat matrix in a big way. The seats in government medical colleges are now nearly double that of the private medical colleges in the State.
Seat Matrix 2015
In the year 2015-16, Odisha had three medical colleges under the government sector. The seat count in the colleges totalled around 550.
On the contrary, the number of medical colleges in the private sector in the State was nearly double (5). And the seat tally in the private-owned institutions was 600.
When the students seeking admission to MBBS in the State in the year 2015-16 were at over 23k, the total seat tally in the State was a mere 1,150.
2022 Seat Matrix
Post the launch of the centrally sponsored scheme by the Modi government, whereby the Union government has decided to set up 157 medical colleges across the country, the MBBS seat count in the State has jumped to 2100.
The number of medical colleges under the State government has risen to 9. And the seat tally in the State in the government sector as of date stands at 1350. The seats on offer by the private colleges in the State are 750.
The number of students who appeared for the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) from Odisha in 2021 had risen to 41,333.
The Wonder Turn
Mark the irony here. Between the years 1959-60 and 2015-16, Odisha had only 3 medical colleges in the government sector. The total seat count increased to 550 in a long period of 56 years.
But the private sector medical colleges made a debut in the year 2005. The seat tally in the private sector between the years 2005-6 and 2015-16 stood higher at 600.
After the launch of the Centrally-sponsored medical college scheme, in a span of 6 years (2015-16 -2021-22), the seats under the State government went up by a massive 145 percent to touch 1350.
However, the contrasting scene witnessed in the rise in the seat tally in the State private colleges was up by only 25 percent to stay at 750.
Overall, the total seats in State medical colleges (public and private) have risen by over 82 percent to touch 2100 in 2021-22 from 1150 in 2015-16.
Though the NEET aspirants from the State have risen to over 41k in 2021, data shows the growth of medical aspirants in the State increased by over 78 percent between 2015-16 and 2021-22.
Even as the seats have grown manifold between 2015-16 and 2021-22, the seats under the government belt have been fewer as compared to the count of aspirants.
Medical College Scenario
In the year 2015-16, the number of MBBS seats in the private sector in the country was 29,995, and the seats in the government sector were 27,143.
Post the launch of the centrally sponsored scheme, the seat matrix of government and private sectors as of today stands in the proportion of 46435 and 43315, respectively. The map is illustrated below.
A look at the map shows a large barren patch in Odisha, as far as the medical college density is considered. The central region of Odisha has zero medical college density. Unlike major states, including Chhattisgarh, Odisha completely lacks medical college clusters.
Medical Colleges Footprints
The table below picturises the coming up of medical colleges in the government sector in Odisha under the Modi govt scheme.
As per the guidelines, while the Centre will provide funds for infrastructure development and equipment required, which is to be shared in the ratio of 60:40 as portrayed in the table above, the Odisha government will provide land for the institution. Besides, the State will also have to bear the cost of faculty, staff component and recurring expenses.
Medical Density Poor In Odisha
In the year 2021, the medical density per 10 million in the State stood at 2.7. On the other hand, the density in neighbouring Chhattisgarh stood at 3.6. The same in southern neighbour Andhra Pradesh was at 3.3. The density in the eastern neighbour - West Bengal - had been 2.65.
A map given above depicts the medical college density across the country. An analysis of the maps reveals big. During the Ukraine crisis, it has been observed that the majority of students studying MBBS there belong to states where the medical college density either has been very low or the seats in the government sector have been lower than the private sector.
A glance at the map shows southern India (Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana) has a high medical college density, but these states contribute to a majority of the bulk of students studying MBBS abroad. The big reason behind this here has been that the seats in the government sector have one-third of the private sector.