Medical education is set to get a major boost in Himachal Pradesh as four government colleges with 100 MBBS seats each and an AIIMS will come up in the state soon.
The medical colleges being set up at Nahan and Chamba are expected to become functional from this year as the government has already set in motion the process of admissions to MBBS course and Medical Council of India teams have inspected the colleges, state Health Minister Kaul Singh said.
Forest clearance is awaited for the land identified for Hamirpur medical college while the ESI Medical College at Ner Chowk in Mandi district would be handed over to the state government soon, he said.
The ESI Medical College was to be set up by the Union Labour Ministry. But after the change of government at the Centre, the state was offered to take over the college, Singh said.
The Union government has already spent Rs 650 crore on the project and an interest of Rs 285 crore had accrued during this period. The state government agreed to pay the principal amount in 10 instalments but not the interest, the minister said.
A consensus had been reached on not paying the interest and the college would be handed over to the state and made functional soon, Singh said.
The medical colleges at Nahan, Chamba and Hamirpur were approved during UPA rule and Rs 190 crore was sanctioned for each of these colleges for building infrastructure, he said.
The Centre also released Rs 12 crore and Rs 10 crore for Chamba and Nahan medical colleges respectively, Singh said.
The land of animal husbandry department near Bilaspur, in the home district of Union health minister J P Nadda, has been transferred for setting up of AIIMS and its foundation stone would be laid soon, he said.
The two government medical colleges currently functioning in the state – the Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla and Dr Rajendra Pradesh Medical College in Tanda (Kangra)- have 100 MBBS seats each.
After these new medical colleges become functional the total number of MBBS seats in the government medical colleges would go up to 700, Singh said.