Shillong, Jul 3 (UNI) Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has assured Meghalaya Chief Minister Donkupar Roy that 30 per cent of seats for the MBBS course will be reserved for indigenous students of the state in the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS).
Dr Ramadoss's assurance came after the Chief Minister requested the former yesterday in New Delhi to revert the Ministry's decision allocating seats for MBBS course in the interest of the local students.
''He has assured to consider our demands in the context of norms and requirements of similar autonomous institutions established by the Centre,'' Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister Adviser Pariong told UNI here today over phone from New Delhi.
Earlier, the Union Ministry had decided to start the MBBS course in NEIGRIHMS with the first intake of 50 students, including 24 students from those Northeastern states that did not have a medical college of their own.
Soon after the announcement of the MBBS course, the Khasi Students' Union and Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People's demanded 30 per cent reservation of seats for Meghalaya in NEIGRIHMS.
Both the organisations rationalised that Manipur had been allotted more than 30 per cent seats at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal, and alleged that the Union Ministry was applying different yardsticks in allotment of seats to the various states.
The NGOs also alleged that it was a clear indication of discrimination against Meghalaya.
The FKJGP and KSU felt that since Manipur had been allotted 30 per cent seats in RIMS, the Centre should also approve reservation of seats for the indigenous people of Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, Dr Ramadoss asked the Meghalaya government to establish nursing colleges to meet the growing requirement and stated that the Centre will provide due support for such colleges.
Reiterating the need for sincerely implementing the initiatives under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), the Union Minister asked the Chief Minister to personally monitor the progress of the NRHM in the state.
He also suggested that a review of the programme should be conducted at the Chief Ministerial level every three months.
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