Maharashtra NEET-PG aspirants challenge one-year rural posting rule

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MEDICAL GRADUATES of the 2017 batch, who are aspiring to take up post-graduate (PG) courses, have challenged the state government’s decision of making one-year rural service mandatory for PG applicants. An online petition, started by the parent of one such graduate, has received over 1,600 signatures. It is mandatory for students of government medical colleges — pursuing both under-graduate and post-graduate courses — to serve a one-year bond service in a hospital run by the public health department of the state. However, students are known to skip these postings or postpone them till after post-graduation.

The new rule aims at keeping a check on this practice. A Government Resolution (GR) was issued to this effect was issued by the Department of Medical Education and Drugs on October 12. As per the GR, the new rule will be in force for admissions taking place for the 2018-19 academic session. This puts the MBBS graduates of the 2017 batch, who had decided to complete their rural posting after PG, at a disadvantage.

The development comes two months ahead of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for PG admissions. The petition was started by Muzaffar Khan, whose son graduated from a government medical college in Yavatmal this year. Khan has also filed an online grievance with the department of medical education and drugs.

Khan said, “We have asked the government to reconsider its decision. The announcement came very late and my son had already started preparing for NEET. He will lose a year if the rule is to be applied.”

The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), meanwhile, also wrote to the department to amend the GR and implement the new rule from the 2019-20 academic year. Since, the bond service does not apply to graduates of private medical colleges, they will be able to apply for PG, he added. He said if the petition does not bear a result, he will resort to a legal recourse.

Pravin Shinghare, director, DMER, said, “It is true that the GR, as it stands today, favours graduates from private institutes. We have already apprised the department of the matter.”

Medical Education Secretary Sanjay Deshmukh said the rules have been decided in principle and the timeline is to be finalised. “By next week, we will come up with a decision on whether to implement it for the academic year 2018-19 or 2019-20,” he said.

Parents oppose bond service for post-graduate medical aspirants

Parents of medical aspirants have floated an online petition against a recent state government resolution requiring the aspirants to complete their bond service before seeking admission to post-graduation medical and dental courses.

Medical and dental graduates, post-graduates and super speciality students from government-run colleges are required to spend a year at a state-run rural health care centre after writing the final exam. The students who don’t do so must pay a fine of Rs15 lakh, Rs50 lakh and Rs2.5 crore, respectively.

The parents said that the decision, which comes two months before National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test – Post Graduation (NEET-PG), has put the aspirants in a spot. Despite their preparations, the exam has become inconsequential for those who are yet to complete their mandatory one-year service in rural areas.

So far, the petition has garnered over 1,700 signatures.

Many medical students who want to pursue post-graduation and super-speciality courses comply with the rural service for all the courses combined after finishing their academics. However, with the new GR in place, the students can no longer do so.

The change in norms is the latest in the state government’s efforts to enforce the bond, as many medical graduates manage to dodge the rural stint. However, various stakeholders have expressed reservations over these measures.

Muzaffar Khan, the parent who started the online petition, said that the move to make bond requirement mandatory for PG admissions at the eleventh hour is unjust to students. “Enforcing the rule on students facing exams without giving them sufficient notice is an injustice. Now they will have to start their preparations anew after their rural stint and end up losing a year or so,” he said.

Khan also suggested that the rule will result in students graduating from private medical and dental colleges getting most of the PG seats in government-run colleges, as they don’t have to sign the rural bond. “By restricting the government college graduates from PG admissions, the government is indirectly giving an edge to the graduates from private and deemed colleges. The government is also encouraging students to pursue graduation in private colleges and deemed universities which have very high fees, poor infrastructure and very few patients to avail clinical knowledge,” read the petition.

Maharashtra: Medical PG aspirants face bond hurdle

Over 5,000 MBBS doctors from the state who have not completed their one-year bond service, usually in rural areas, will face serious hurdles in obtaining a postgraduation seat in 2018-19.

Less than three months before the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-PG, the state’s medical education department has issued a government resolution (GR) mandating MBBS graduates from public medical colleges to submit bond-free certificates in order to qualify for a PG seat.

The GR, issued on October 12, has shocked thousands of PG aspirants, who are questioning the decision being taken at the eleventh hour after most have spent months preparing for the entrance test. While MBBS students are expected to complete a one-year bond after their five-and-half-year course, the state allows them a window of six years to pursue higher education. Most avail of that extra time and only a handful proceed to do bond service immediately after MBBS.