Why govt colleges are top choice for MBBS students

When it comes to choosing a

medical college

, high-ranking students in the

entrance test

overwhelmingly prefer

government colleges

, especially the older and well-established ones that also happen to have the lowest annual fees.
That’s the conclusion from

National Medical Commission

’s data on over 1 lakh MBBS admissions across India in 2023-24. However, data for admissions to 20 functional AIIMS and JIPMER – altogether 2,269 seats – and four other colleges that account for 420 seats isn’t included.
Delhi And Kerala are top choices
TOI analysed this mega-set of NEET ranks to arrive at the median rank (midpoint – 50% of admissions are ranked lower than the median) of admissions to each college.

Delhi, with several wellknown medical colleges and no post-MBBS bond, appears to be the top choice. Without data from AIIMS-Delhi or any other AIIMS, Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi tops the chart with the highest median rank of 1,112. Banaras Hindu University’s Institute of Medical Sciences is in second place with a median rank of 1,325, followed by Vardhman Mahavir Medical College attached to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital (median rank 2,718).

median

Government colleges in Delhi have a median rank of 4,597. Kerala, where government college annual fees range from Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000, and there is no bonded service after MBBS, has the next highest median rank for government colleges (12,592). Even private medical colleges in Kerala have a relatively high median rank (96,600) as the average fee is less than Rs 7 lakh annually. In fact, their median rank would be even higher if the deemed university of Amrita School of Medicine in Kochi with an annual fee of Rs 19 lakh is left out.

Demand for cheap private colleges
CMC Vellore has the highest median rank (18,832) among private colleges, followed by Maharaja Agrasen Medical College in Haryana (20,531) which is government-aided though run by a trust. MGIMS-Wardha (23,598), which gets the bulk of its funding from the Centre and Maharashtra government, is third. Annual tuition fees in these three colleges are Rs 52,000, Rs 1.8 lakh and over Rs 1.6 lakh, respectively, the lowest among private colleges. Affordability thus seems to have a very high impact on students’ choice.

mbbs

Bottom rung can be very costly
Rajasthan’s private medical colleges have the lowest median rank of 6.38 lakh, behind Puducherry’s private colleges (5.96 lakh median rank). However, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry has the lowest overall median rank (10.4 lakh), behind Pacific Medical College in Udaipur, Rajasthan (8.82 lakh). Yet, these colleges have among the highest fees for MBBS – Rs 23 lakh and Rs 21 lakh per year, respectively, for state quota seats, and in case of Pacific Medical College, Rs 35 lakh per year for management quota seats.
Steep penalty is a deterrent
However, fees alone don’t determine choice. Assam’s government colleges, for example, have low annual tuition fees (Rs 20,000-28,000), but the mainstream perception that they are far away, and the very high penalty of Rs 30 lakh for not doing one year of rural service after graduation, deter top-rankers.
In fact, this is true for most government colleges in the North-East. Yet, Haryana with the longest bond of five years, a penalty of Rs 36 lakh, and government college fees of Rs 90,000 per year, has the third highest median rank in government colleges. Clearly, location too is an important factor.

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