Concerned over shortage of veterinary doctors, Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan today said it is considering amendments to the 32-year old Indian Veterinary Council Act in order to ease norms for setting up of private vet colleges in the country.
At present, there are about 52 veterinary colleges in India and out of which, two are private-owned.
“We have proposed amendments to the Indian Veterinary Council Act (VCI) Act, 1984 to address the problem being faced in opening new colleges,” Balyan told reporters here.
More number of colleges, both public and private ones, are required to address the growing shortage of veterinary doctors in the country, he said while sharing the government’s achievements in this field.
Balyan, who holds a PhD degree in veterinary science, said the land requirement norms mentioned in the existing law for setting up of a new veterinary college is not possible to adhere due to the growing urbanisation.
“A permission for a new college is given if anyone has 35 acres of land for a college campus and additional 45 acres of farm land for research clinics and others. In the current context, it is not possible to get this much land,” he said and added that private players were not keen due to this stringent requirement.
In the last two years, the NDA government has set up 16 veterinary colleges including two private owned, taking the total to 52. The number of seats have been raised, while SC/ST reservation has also been implemented from 2015, he added.
Stating that Niti Aayog is studying the status of vet doctors in India, the Minister said, “It is believed that there is only one vet doctor for 12 villages. There is no exact data to rely. So, Niti Aayog is looking into it and will submit the report by October.”
Based on the report, more measures would be taken to improve the strength of vet doctors and colleges, he said.
Balyan also hoped that all states will admit students in veterinary courses through a national common admission test from next year onwards on the lines of NEET for medical courses.
“Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Rajasthan participated in the All India Pre-Veterinary Test 2016 to fill their quota of seats. I hope other states will do next year,” he said.
At present, Veterinary Council of India (VCI) conducts an All India Pre-Veterinary Test (AIPVT) for admission to veterinary courses for filling up 15 per cent of all-India quota seats in veterinary colleges, and the rest 85 per cent state quota seats is filled up by states via separate test. The Union Agriculture Ministry had asked all states to fill up the state quota through AIPVT.