The government counters the Opposition’s claims regarding education and health expenditure in Telangana.”

During a session in the Assembly, Minister for Health and Finance T. Harish Rao highlighted Telangana’s significant achievements in both paddy production and medical education. He pointed out that the state not only excels in paddy production nationwide but has also established 29 new government medical colleges in the nine years since its formation, resulting in the highest annual output of doctors. Minister Harish Rao emphasized that Telangana’s efforts in medical education are leading to a surplus of doctors, akin to its surplus in paddy production, and that the state has the highest doctor-population ratio of 22 per one lakh in the country.

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Minister Harish Rao explained that initially there were only five government medical colleges in Telangana, with two established in Adilabad (2008) and Nizamabad (2013) during the BRS government’s tenure. Despite challenges, the BRS government succeeded in achieving a “white coat revolution” by increasing the number of doctors and nursing staff over nine years, despite the central government’s reluctance to sanction new medical and nursing colleges. Notably, no new institutions were sanctioned out of 157 medical and 157 nursing colleges proposed since 2014.

Detailing the State’s efforts, Harish Rao mentioned that during 2022-23, Telangana secured 900 out of the 2,220 medical seats by establishing new government medical colleges. He underlined the state’s commitment to providing local students with 95% of seats in all government medical colleges formed after the state’s establishment, with the remaining 5% open to Telangana students based on merit.

Minister for Education Sabitha Indra Reddy also contributed to the discussion, explaining the substantial growth in government residential school and college seats, which increased from approximately 1.7 lakh to over 8 lakh since the state’s formation. She clarified that education expenditure stemmed not only from the education department but also from other departments such as BC, SC, and ST welfare. Reddy highlighted that the average annual expenditure on the education sector over the past nine years had exceeded 14%.

Participating in the debate, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader M. Bhatti Vikramarka expressed skepticism about the government’s sincerity in effectively implementing health and education policies. He criticized the government’s inability to adequately manage fee reimbursement, leading to students being forced to pay fees to obtain certificates from colleges. He also raised concerns about the quality of school education in the state, referencing a Central government report that placed Telangana at the sixth-lowest position in terms of education quality.

Minister Harish Rao responded to these criticisms, pointing out that delayed fee reimbursement is a common issue in governments and clarifying that the BRS government cleared ₹1,868 crore of fee dues from the previous Congress government and reimbursed ₹19,619 crore over nine years.

Harish Rao concluded by noting the recognition Telangana received from various quarters for its accomplishments, including praise from neighboring states and leaders, while expressing frustration at the local opposition’s seeming disregard for these achievements.

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