In 2017, when Yogi Adityanath took oath for the first time as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the state had only 12 medical colleges.
The medical education history of Uttar Pradesh began with the establishment of the state’s first medical institute (King George’s Medical College — now university) in 1905.
Between 1950 and 1970, six more colleges were established.
Since then, for a state that has a population of 23 crore, the number of medical colleges has been far too limited.
First term of Yogi Adityanath
In 2017-18, out of the 12 medical colleges that were there in the state, four of them were government institutes - Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Gorakhpur and Raebareli.
Uttar Pradesh has 75 districts in total, and is the most populated state in India. By the end of the first term of the Yogi administration, Uttar Pradesh had established 35 medical institutes - twice the number of institutes that were present in the state in 2017.
The state managed to open 21 new colleges in a period of five years, of which 19 were administered by the Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP) and two of them by the Government of India (GoI).
By the end of the first term
As far as the private medical colleges are concerned, the state had 15 of them in 2017. In 2022, the numbers went up to 30. The same result was seen with the number of undergraduate seats. It doubled from 4,000 in 2017 to 8,000 in 2022.
The total number of colleges, including the government-run institutions and the private ones, stood at 65 as of 2022.
"Of the 14 new colleges that are under construction at the moment, 13 of them are nearing completion", says Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary, Medical Education, Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Creating a national record
Tamil Nadu had set a record by establishing 11 medical colleges last year. Uttar Pradesh had earlier established nine colleges in 2021. In 2023, UP could well beat Tamil Nadu's record by establishing 13 colleges in a single year, thereby creating a national record.
"Soon, with 48 medical colleges in total, Uttar Pradesh will become the state with the highest number of medical colleges in India", says Alok Kumar, speaking to Swarajya.
By the end of the year, out of the 75 districts in the state, 59 districts will have at least one medical college. In districts like Lucknow, there will be more than one college in the district.
Presently, 16 districts in the state do not have medical colleges. Instead, students and patients have to travel to other districts to access such facilities.
To overcome this issue, the state government has decided to establish medical colleges in a public-private partnership model (PPP model). The government has identified partners for four districts so far - Maharajganj, Sambhal, Mau and Shamli. The construction is currently ongoing, and is expected to be complete in a year or two.
Six more are currently under bidding (July 31 being the last date to submit thier bids). As far as the finances for this is concerned, the Government of India is investing 40 per cent of capex funds and 25 per cent of the opex for the first five years of the operation.
The six districts where medical colleges are planned are as follows: Hathras, Mainpuri, Hamirpur, Mahoba and Kasganj. The state government is expected to give the approvals by September this year for these projects.
"UP is the first state to take advantage of Department of Economic Affairs scheme", Alok Kumar added.
He further stated that the in-principle approval for the remaining six districts are done, but the government will proceed with the projects once they "look at the response from the first six."
Some of these districts are Balia, Badhori, Sant Kabir Nagar and Chitrakoot.
By 2027, by the second term of the Yogi administration ends, the state will have one medical college in every district. This will bring the number up to 98 in total.
"Tamil Nadu achieved one medical college in every district long before us, but they started this process in 1993. UP started in 2017, but is taking only ten years to achieve what Tamil Nadu managed to achieve in 30", Alok Kumar told Swarajya.
Sharan Setty (Sharan K A) is an Associate Editor at Swarajya. He tweets at @sharansetty2.
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