cently, TOI had conservatively estimated the scale of the black economy in medical seats at about Rs 12,000 crore. How has this black market come into being? It is thanks largely to a massive expansion in private medical education in the 15 years from 1996 to 2010. Nearly 60% of the private medical seats now available were added during this period.
The expansion followed a crucial change in the Indian Medical Council Act in 1993, which gave the Medical Council of India (MCI) complete control over the process of recognising new colleges and courses. Incidentally, the 15-year period was one in which Dr Ketan Desai and his close associate Dr Kesavan Kutty Nair held sway over MCI. Desai was twice removed from the post of MCI president on allegations of corruption, though he has never been convicted on these charges.
At the time of independence there was just one private medical college, CMC Vellore, and even at the beginning of the 1980s there were only 11of them.