India will invest Rs.3.19 billion for enhancing nursing education across the country within the next five years, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said.
Underlining the need for more nurses under the National Rural Health Mission, Ramadoss said: "In the strategic framework for nursing during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) we have identified 230 districts in the country where there are no auxiliary nurse-midwives (ANM) and graduate nurse-midwives (GNM) institutions."
"A provision of Rs.3.19 billion has been proposed for the 11th Plan for the strengthening of nursing education in the country," the minister said while inaugurating a nursing college in the capital.
He said that new ANM and GNM schools will be opened in the 230 districts during the 11th Plan.
"It is also proposed to establish four regional colleges of excellence with state-of-the-art facilities to improve the quality of nursing education in the country," Ramadoss said.
At present 905,000 nurses are registered with various state Nursing Councils in India. There are about 1,597 nursing schools and about 833 B.Sc. (Nursing) Colleges and 97 M.Sc (Nursing) colleges in the country.
They have a capacity to train 79,850 diploma nurses, 41,650 graduate nurses and 1,940 postgraduate nurses per year respectively.
Speaking about his plans for the capital, Ramadoss said the nursing school attached to Lady Hardinge Medical College was upgraded to college level.
"We are in the process of upgrading two more Schools of Nursing into College of Nursing in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi," he said.