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Need to Address Regional Imbalance, Says PM Modi While Launching 11 Medical Colleges in Tamil Nadu

There is a need to address the regional imbalance, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he launched 11 medical colleges across Tamil Nadu. The medical colleges were launched under the scheme ‘Establishing of New Medical Colleges attached with existing district/referral hospital’ – which is aimed at establishing medical colleges in districts, which do not have either a government or private medical college.

This holds great importance, as the Tamil Nadu government had raised concerns that regional students are at a disadvantage in the medical entrance exam -NEET. A report by the Tamil Nadu government had last year claimed that if NEET continues for some more years then there might not be enough expert doctors to be employed in government medical hospitals. The state has earlier also raised the demand of scrapping centralised admissions for medical colleges. During PM’s interaction too, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister raised his issues concerning NEET with Prime Minister.

Read | Exempt Tamil Nadu From NEET, Stalin Urges to PM Modi

“This would be the first time that 11 medical colleges are being inaugurated at one stock located in any one state. Just a few days back, I had inaugurated nine medical colleges at the same time in UP. I am getting to break my own record.” said Modi.

The new medical colleges alone will add 1450 more seats for MBBS aspirants. Tamil Nadu already has 27 government medical colleges which constitute of a total of 5125 medical seats.

“Medical education is one of the most desirable streams of study”, said Prime Minister Modi in his virtual address claiming that the problem of shortage of doctors in India has been addressed under his leadership. He said that the previous governments did not resolve the issue due to “vested interests”.

In 2014, our country had 380 medical colleges, in the last seven years, the number has gone up to 596 medical colleges, an increase of 54 per cent, said Modi adding that in 2014, India had around 82000 medical undergraduate and postgraduate seats. In the last seven years, this number has gone up to around 1.48 lakh. This is an increase of about 80 per cent.

PM also pledged to contribute Rs 3000 crore to Tamil Nadu over the period of five years to provide health centres, critical care blocks across the states.

“The once in a lifetime COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of the health sector. The future will belong to societies which invest in healthcare,” said Modi adding that he envisions India to be the world’s quality and affordable healthcare destination.

“In the coming year, I envision India as being the destination for quality and affordable care, India has everything needed to be a hub to become medical tourism. I say this based on the skills of our doctors,” said Modi.

At the event, PM Modi also launched the new campus of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) in Chennai. The new campus is fully funded by the Union Government and is built at a cost of Rs 24 crore. CICT is contributing to the promotion of classical Tamil by pursuing research to establish the ancientness and uniqueness of the Tamil language.

Talking about the centre, Modi said, “One of the happiest moments of my life was when I got to speak one of the oldest languages of the world – Tamil at the UN.” He has also urged the Tamil speaking youth to translate English content into their mother tongue. PM informed that the government is developing an AI-based language-translation tool to translate English online courses into 12 Indian languages including Tamil.

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