MBBS students applying for admissions to post-graduate medical courses for the academic year 2015-2016 have to undergo one year compulsory rural posting at Public Health Centres (PHC). This was stated by Ghulam Nabi Azad, minister of health and family welfare, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on 18 December. The decision aims to tackle the problem of scarcity of doctors in the country and the decline in number of Primary Health Centres. As of March 2012, there is a shortfall of 3,459 surgeons, 3,005 obstetricians and gynecologists, 3,667 physicians, 3,270 pediatricians and a total of 13,477 specialists in the community health centers across the country. The regulation comes into effect after the proposal of Medical Council of India (MCI) to amend the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000.