Medical staff help doctor during surgery at an operation theatre in Chennai (representational image) | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
Medical staff help doctor during surgery at an operation theatre in Chennai (representational image) | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: In its first significant move, the newly constituted National Medical Commission (NMC) is likely to do away with the requirement of minimum five acres of land for setting up a medical college, ThePrint has learnt.

The commission has also proposed to reduce the minimum number of beds required as a proportion of the number of seats in the college.

The NMC, which was constituted on 25 September, has further proposed to make skill labs mandatory. Skill labs have mannequins on which students can practice life-saving skills such as administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, giving various types of injections, among others.

All these proposed changes are part of the ‘Minimum Requirements for Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations, 2020’ for which the NMC has sought feedback from people and various stakeholders by 19 October. ThePrint has accessed the document of the proposed regulations.

Proposed regulations

The new regulations laid down the requirements for lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, minimum bed requirement of the attached medical college, location of faculty offices and students’ accommodation. 

It stated the minimum equipment that each laboratory must have, the minimum number of copies of a given book in the library, the medical journals that the college must subscribe to, and also one rural health and one urban health training centre attached to each college.

The NMC proposed to allow medical colleges to operate out of three campuses in tier 1 and tier 2 cities, and Northeast and hilly areas, provided the distance between any two campuses is never less than 10 km or 30 minutes of travel time. 

The requirement for the number of beds in a medical college hospital has been proposed to be brought down from 530 to 430 for a 100-seat institute, and from 930 to 830 for a 200-seat college.

A senior official involved with the drawing up of the new regulations told ThePrint: “Earlier the regulations required that a minimum five acres land was required for setting up of a new medical college but now we are changing that.”

“It is not the real estate that is of interest to us but the facilities, student amenities and the quality of teaching. While we have only specified things like how many students a lecture theatre should accommodate, our back of the envelope calculations suggest that for setting up a college with 100 seats, just about 2.5 acres would be sufficient under these norms,” he added.

A 100-seat college, for example, needs two teaching rooms of 25 people capacity each, and one with 50 people capacity in line with the new idea of small-group teaching in the current medical syllabus. 

The visiting faculty can be 30 per cent of the required faculty strength, according to the proposed regulations.

Also read: Covid-forced break in medical education could have long-term effects on society, says IMA

Focus on quality

The preamble to the draft regulations laid down the reasons as to why such a document is needed. 

“There is a necessity to re-cast medical education and training to enable the medical graduate to be able to effectively discharge their role as a physician in this changing world. The new demands on medical education also necessitate redefining the standards.”

“There is a need to define standards based on functional requirements, rather than in absolute terms. Quality should be the benchmark of the new standard. Optimisation and flexibility in utilising the available resources, and harnessing modern educational technology tools would facilitate in moving towards quality education even when resources are relatively scarce,” according to the preamble.

‘Requirements for setting up medical colleges rationalised’

The proposed regulations come close on the heels of the decision by the Medical Council of India (MCI) Board of Governors last month to make a three-month internship at a district hospital mandatory for all postgraduate medical students.

Dr V.K. Paul, member (health) NITI Aayog and chairman of the MCI Board of Governors, told ThePrint: “The idea is to promote quality, small-group teaching.”

“The requirements for setting up medical colleges have been rationalised. The new document lays down what is required in terms of lecture theatres, laboratories, skills lab, library, hostels and amenities for both students and faculty members etc. A well-functioning hospital providing quality services 24×7 is the most important part of the medical college,” he said.

“Any legally established hospital can be a teaching hospital if it has the required amount of patient load, and provides teaching spaces. How much land is required for the college is not for the regulator to prescribe; it is dependent on the municipal norms such as the floor area ratio allowed for construction. We have simplified the regulations so that the emphasis may remain firmly on quality and also put in other requirements such as skills laboratory and Wi-Fi,” Paul added.

He further said visiting faculty is “recommended to top-up full-time faculty to run a good medical college”. 

“The idea is to promote quality student-faculty interaction and small-group teaching and bedside classes. Our estimate is that the costs for establishing a medical college would significantly come down,” added Paul.

Also read: AIIMS Delhi — India’s best medical college that’s home to many leaders of Covid battle


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13 Comments Share Your Views


  1. This move will increase more Medical Colleges in Eastern part in INDIA because East has very few nos Medical Colleges with good infrastructure.
    We need more quality Medical Colleges in Eastern part.

  2. Any change is to look up for better standards.hope nmc strives for it.a difference in rural and urban medical colleges as for as bed strength may be made as population is less in rural.say 300 in rural.a provision to take MBBS tutors 16 per subject may be made as small group teaching and skill lab postings need more tutors.

  3. visiting faculty will give only visiting time for attendance purpose and name sake. no use at all . full time faculty usually shows interest in teaching. but visiting faculty will increase their no of college for visiting. no attention on students.

  4. visiting faculty will give only visiting time for attendance purpose and name sake. no use at all . full time faculty usually shows interest in teaching. but visiting faculty will increase their no of college for visiting. no attention on students.

  5. This looks very scary,new rules are disastrous, legalising visiting faculty in medical colleges will virtually replace the role of full time faculty,as already private medical colleges have too many one day players shown in MCI inspection as full time faculty. These changes in rules are to benefit private players and produce army of incapable, useless doctors. moreover proposers are eminent doctors who very well know the consequences of this bill but not saying anything infront of their masters.

  6. The NMC should allow international faculty on a visiting basis to allow Indian origin doctors to return their gratitude towards their alma mater.

  7. It is a very good move. By reducing the cost of establishing the medical college, more colleges would be started .Then because of of competition private colleges offer seats for lower fees. Good to economically weaker students .

  8. How sophisticated all these sounds! 😂
    Let’s wait and see the the real picture! If it turns out the way it is put up! Kudos! And if it is not! Nothing to be surprised! This is India! And Indian Government!

  9. There is unfortunately no mention of teaching primary care and the specialty of Family Medicine in the proposal. The need of India is to have a large number of generalists who can manage most of the health problems of individuals, families and communities. In developed countries this is done through the specialty of Family Medicine or General practice. This is crucial for providing universal health cover to everyone and for having a network of well trained Family Physicians who will not only manage the diseases but also focus on the patient as a person and build a long term relationship of trust.

    • Very apt, sir. Family medicine needs to be in the mainstream. Next to none specialist doctors promote this. Yet in the real scenario many general practitioner under the umbrella of HEALTH “A” sector are already doing it without further comprehensive training. I’m a MBBS graduate and I’ve had the honour to serve the general population in rural areas as part of compulsory posting set by the Assam government and it has opened my eyes to the scarcity and the need of allopathic doctors in these areas. NMC proposes to bridge that gap by training alternative medicine professionals. Instead NMC should have introduced and mainstreamed the PA degree( Physician’s Assistant) which is quite in demand in countries like the USA which is almost equivalent to MBBS in India A PA can practice independently and can prescribe certain category of drugs and provide basic health care; their only limitation is they cannot provide certain risky classes of drugs and certain management protocols which are done in consultation with their appointed specialist doctor. PA degree holders and Family medicine doctors are all that is needed( from allopathic medicine family) in rural areas. Also the living facilities for doctors are horrible in rural areas due to which no one wants to go and serve there. As usual our fraternity is taken for granted the most in this era. Yet we will not give up.

  10. Wow

  11. relaxation of norms is totally looks like nmc is in hand of private education lobby. What about fees does these reducing norms should make institute charge less fees ??

  12. Its good change. But quality doesn’t come cheap. They are insisting on what a money can buy..least bothered about patient / clinical exposure..quality faculty to teach..with reduced faculty strength how they are going get the quality I really don’t know..they must increase faculty, faculty training. Faculty remuneration so that the key players can give their full to get quality doctors..


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