Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when launching several development projects in Varanasi on July 15, claimed that Uttar Pradesh had 12 medical schools until four years ago or before the current government came to power of the Bharatiya Janata party. He also said that number has now quadrupled.
Today, UP is witnessing an unprecedented improvement in medical infrastructure, whether it be village health centers, medical schools or AIIMS. [All India Institute Of Medical Science], said Modi at the inaugural ceremony of projects worth around Rs 744 crore, including nine medical schools. Until four years ago, when there were a dozen medical schools at UP, their number has now almost quadrupled. Many medical schools are in different stages of construction.
He also inaugurated many projects and public works, including a 100-bed maternal and child health wing at the Hindu University of Banaras, a multi-level parking lot in Godauliya, Ro-Ro ships for tourism development on the Ganga river and a three-lane aerial bridge over the Varanasi. Ghazipur highway.
But Modi is not the first to make such a claim. This statement was made by several UP government officials over the past few months and has been published as fact.
About 10 days before this declaration, the India time had written about the inauguration of nine medical schools in the state and how that would bring the number to 48. In the article, a spokesperson reportedly said: There were only 12 medical schools in UP until March 2017. But the BJP government has announced that it will create more medical schools and ensure that residents of the state do not have to travel to other states for treatment.
In another TOI article dated March 18, officials allegedly made the same claim. In fact, Chief Minister Adityanath also made the same claim during an investment and tourism speech hosted under the banner of the Uttar Pradesh Association of North America in December 2020. In a PTI article, he is quoted as saying that until 2017, UP only had 12 medical schools, 30 more are under construction and the government plans to have one in each of the 75 districts.
But this assertion, although made repeatedly, is incorrect. Fact checker reviewed responses in Lok Sabha, press releases from the Press Information Office, and records kept by the UP’s Directorate of Medical Education and Training. While not all official documents have the same numbers, none have the numbers claimed above.
Three official documents prove that the claim that UP only had 12 medical schools until 2017 is false. First, according to a July 2018 document filed with the References Division of the Library of Parliament on the Status of medical education in India, Uttar Pradesh had 45 medical schools for the 2016-17 academic year. Of these, 16 were public colleges and 29 private.
Second, in a response given to Lok Sabha on July 22, 2016, the then Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Faggan Singh Kulaste, gave a list of medical schools by state in the countryside. The list shows that of the country’s 439 medical schools, Uttar Pradesh had 38.
Finally, the registers of the UP’s Department of Medical Education and Training, which controls the medical faculties and attached university hospitals, list the public and private medical schools with their year of creation. According to these lists, the state had 41 government medical schools and 24 private medical schools until 2017. Further, this shows that while no private colleges have been established in the state since then, seven government colleges were established in 2019.
Modi and Adityanath claimed that Uttar Pradesh now has 48 medical schools, of which only 12 existed before the current BJP government came to power. This means that the government led by Adityanath has established at least 36 medical schools.
But, according to two responses given to Lok Sabha in February by Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Uttar Pradesh has 57 faculties of medicine and only 12 of them were established between 2018 and 2020 (nine government and three private). This does not include the nine medical schools that Modi inaugurated on July 15, 2021, bringing the number to 21, not 36.
When the same data is presented according to the academic year, we can see that between the academic years 2017-18 and 2019-20, 10 medical schools were established in the state.
Moreover, the statements made do not specify what the creation or establishment of these colleges means. Therefore, Fact checker examined how many colleges have obtained approval from the Medical Council of India in recent years.
In a written response to Rajya Sabha on September 15, 2020, Choubey gave a list of medical schools recognized by the Medical Council of India or the central government for the past three years. This list includes only six Uttar Pradesh medical schools. The Medical Council of India was replaced by the National Medical Commission in 2020 with the aim of overhauling the regulatory system for medical education.
While the data from all sources is different due to the time it was collected, none even come close to the numbers cited by PM Modi and UP CM Adityanath.
Fact checker tried contacting the two for email comment and calls to their offices, but neither had responded by the time this article was published. If and when we get a response, we’ll update the story.
This article first appeared on FactChecker.in, a publication of the non-profit public service journalism organization IndiaSpend.