SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir is fast becoming the medical education hub in the country. Two new government medical colleges (GMCs) are all set to start academic session this year.
Government Medical College, Handwara, and Government Medical College, Udhampur, with a capacity of 100 seats each will start functioning this year. With this, Jammu and Kashmir will have 13 medical colleges with 1300 MBBS seats.
Five medical colleges –Doda, Rajouri, Kathua, Baramulla, and Anantnag –are into their fifth year of operations. Four medical colleges including GMC Jammu and Srinagar and a private college were already operational.
In addition, AIIMS, Jammu is also functioning from a temporary campus with 65 seat capacity. Jammu and Kashmir will have more undergraduate medical seats when AIIMS Awantipora starts functioning.
“GMC Handwara and Udhampur will start academic session this year. Each college has 100 seats. Everything has been finalised,” Dr Yashpal Sharma, Director Coordination, New GMCs, told The Kashmir Monitor.
Dr. Sharma said 1300 seats for a small UT like Jammu and Kashmir is itself a big thing. “We are a small UT. We have 1300 MBBS seats. It is a very big achievement in all respects,” he said.
From the central pool, J&K does have 15 percent of seats. “We have 60,000 seats now available for competition. Our students can compete for these seats too. We have 15 percent central quota available,” he said.
Additionally, the National Board of Examinations in Medical Science has sanctioned 12 additional Diplomate National Board (DNB) seats for public institutions in Jammu and Kashmir. These seats are in addition to the previously granted 270 Diplomate National Board seats. Official sources said DNB courses at the district level has been recognised as a best practice in the country. Sources said J&K is likely to submit applications for 30 more DNB courses in all district hospitals.
Last year, the Jammu and Kashmir government shortlisted eight firms to set up hospitals and medical colleges in the newly established Medi-City at Sempora, Kashmir. Five hospitals, two medical colleges, and one nursing training institute cum hospital will be set up in the first phase.
An official document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveals that Milli Trust, Peaks, Vitasta Hospitals, Trumbo Infrastructure, Areesha Royal Hospital, Universal Healthcare Hospital, DVS Worldwide Service, and Radiant Medicity Pvt Ltd have been selected to set up their units.
It may be recalled that in 2019, the State Administrative Council (SAC) approved the ‘Policy document’ to set up Med-cities in Jammu and Kashmir. Official sources said more than 10,000 jobs are likely to be created within these two Medi-cities.