In a major setback for Himachal Pradesh, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has refused to grant permission to increase 50 undergraduate seats each in the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) and the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Medical College at Tanda in Kangra district.

Both colleges wanted to increase the seats from 100 to 150 and even Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh last month said the state had requested the central government to increase undergraduate seats in both government medical colleges.

However, the MCI on its Wednesday meeting approved creation of 1,390 additional MBBS seats in 32 government medical colleges across the country. With this, the total number of seats would go up to 46,500. There are 362 medical colleges with over 45,000 MBBS seats.