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Opposition from Southern States leads to NMC deferring from its controversial plan to add MBBS colleges and seats in accordance to State population

New Delhi: The NMC has temporarily put on hold its plan to establish additional MBBS colleges and increase undergraduate seats based on a state’s population following intense protests from southern states. On August 16 the Undergraduate Medical Education Board (UMEB) of NMC issued notification titled “Guidelines for undergraduate courses under the establishment of new medical institutions, starting new medical courses, an increase of seats for existing courses, and assessment and rating Regulation 2023.”

According to these guidelines, medical colleges established from the upcoming academic session (now revised to 2025-26) would have a maximum of 150 MBBS seats, contingent on the institute adhering to the ratio of 100 MBBS seats for every 10 lakh population in the state. The NMC justified this limitation, citing the intention to “reduce regional disparities” in the availability of healthcare professionals. The decision to cap total seats at 100 per 10 lakh population is aimed at ensuring an equitable distribution of resources, particularly faculty members, across the country. However, this move sparked criticism primarily from southern states that had already surpassed this ratio, rendering them ineligible for further expansion. The southern states especially Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka have strongly opposed the notification on various grounds.