Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
21-December-2011 18:37 IST
More than 450 Degrees Awarded at the 39th AIIMS Annual Convocation
The 39th Convocation of All India Institute of Medical Sciences was held in New Delhi today. Smt Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the national Advisory Council, Government of India was the Chief Guest at the function presided over by the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Addressing the gathering, Smt Gandhi said that reducing Infant and Maternal Mortality Ratio; tackling challenges of lifestyle induced Non Communicable Diseases as also re-emerging communicable diseases have to be attended to on priority. While congratulating the graduates, she said that they should translate their MCI oath into reality and heal the sick to bring solace and happiness in this country where inequality and poverty permeates. She said the All India Institute of Medical Sciences is an institution that the nation is proud of because of its achievements in cutting edge research as also quality health care services. She noted that while progress is evident in the increased life expectancy figures; steady decline in IMR –MMR; containing leprosy, Polio and Malaria; lot more needs to be done. Acute shortage of health professionals especially in rural areas and immigration of doctors are matters of concern, she added.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister and President of the Institute, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad recalled Chairperson NAC’s leadership in providing policy oversight to national flagship programmes in rural health, nutrition, education, infrastructure and urban renewal. Shri Azad said “it is a matter of personal satisfaction that many infrastructure expansion projects of AIIMS that were held up for several years are now under rapid implementation. On its part, the Government has been extending its full support to the Institute by allocating adequate financial resources”. While work on the Convergence Block and Underground Parking is already under-way, construction of the new Hostel Block and underground connectivity with the Trauma Centre would start within this month, he informed. Approval of the statutory authorities is expected soon for the new Surgical Block, Mother & Child Centre and the new OPD Block, he said. The accelerated assured career progression scheme, together with enhanced salary and allowances, have been major reforms undertaken for the faculty of the Institute in the recent past, he added. “More than 2300 posts, which include 150 faculty positions, are being created to provide additional manpower at the Institute” he said. New departments of Pulmonary Medicine and Geriatric Care have been established.

Shri Azad recounted that several path breaking initiatives have been taken by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare during the past few years to reform and improve the health care services in the country. Under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), the number of beneficiaries have gone up from 7.39 laks in 2005-06 to over 1.13 crore per year, both during 2009-10 and 2010-11. Nearly 600 District Hospitals, 2,721 Community Health Centers, 5,459 Primary Health Centers, and 31,001 Health Sub-Centers have been taken up for new construction and renovation. During 2009-11, additional 70,830 Doctors, Specialists, AYUSH doctors, Staff Nurses, Para-medics and ANMs were added to the health system, he elaborated. “Interventions in Polio eradication have resulted in new polio cases being reduced from 741 in 2009 to 42 in 2010 and, during 2011, we have had only one polio case so far” he highlighted.

To systemically overcome the shortage of faculty, Shri Azad informed that several efforts like raising the ceiling on age limit from 60 to 70 years; recognizing DNB qualifications for appointment as faculty; relaxing teacher student ratio from 1:1 to 1:2 for post-graduate and super-speciality courses have been taken. To facilitate the government and private sector establish more degree colleges, Land requirement was relaxed from 25 acres to 20 acres across the country and 10 acres in some selected cities and Hospital Bed occupancy and requirement of ancillary infrastructure was drastically rationalized. “To have more doctors, the existing cap of maximum intake for MBBS has been raised from 150 to 250 and financial assistance is being provided to State Government owned Medical Colleges for infrastructure up-gradation”, he said. All these have resulted in - increase in the number of MBBS seats from 32,892 to 41,469, an increase of 8,577 seats; increase in the number of PG seats from 13,000 to 21,181, an increase of 8,181 seats. Within this period, 46 new medical colleges have been established raising the number from 289 to present day 335. The 6 new AIIMS will be fully functional by the end of next year, Shri Azad added. To overcome the shortage of Nurses and ANMs, mostly in remote, inaccessible and under-served districts, MoHFW has sanctioned 269 nursing schools in the last two years. These institutions will give additional 22,000 nurses annually.

Four hundred sixty five degrees were awarded at the convocation held today. Till date AIIMS has trained 4878 specialists, 1198 super specialists, 2554 MBBS doctors, 871 PhDs and a large number of PGs in allied health sciences. The Institute has also trained 2388 nurses and paramedical professionals.