Three yrs mandatory service for Goa PG students

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Health minister Vishwajit Rane recently made it mandatory for postgraduates from Goa Medical College (GMC) to provide service for three years, as per their bond, after completing their masters education.

Rane told TOI that doctors completing their MD in various specialities will be soon posted in government hospitals and health centres across Goa on a rotation basis. The idea is that people seeking medical support, and who live in different corners of the state should not have to travel to district hospitals for speciality treatment.

“The bond will be strictly implemented from now. After the bonds were invoked, some doctors have been posted at Ponda and Mapusa. The orders for postings of another 25 (doctors) will be issued soon. Once all health centres across Goa are covered, we will know the total requirement of doctors. Then we can fix a figure of our requirement. Once we arrive at this figure, we will work out a rotation system for the doctors,” Rane told.

Under this system, the doctors will have to serve in different health centres as per a pre-decided schedule during their bond period.

The rotation system is expected to bring down the burden on Goa Medical College and Hospital in Bambolim, and Hospicio in Margao. Patients will also be spared the trouble of travelling more than 30kms, at times, for speciality treatment. GMC even sees patients from as far as Canacona and Quepem seeking treatment at Bambolim.

Rane said that as the bonds were not invoked until now in Goa, the provision for the payment of the postgraduates’ salary was also not made so far in the state budget.

“In the upcoming budget the provision will also be made for those who will be completing their postgraduation. We get sufficient funds under the national health mission, which can be utilised for the purpose. They will be drawing salary from the directorate of health services,” said Rane.

Respite to MD, MS aspirants as Govt relaxes condition of bond

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Taking a soft stand over its earlier decision, Maharashtra’s Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan announced relaxing the condition of completing one year bond for MBBS students. This has paved way for the students to appear in Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to post graduate course.

Earlier, the Department had made it clear that the student found not completing the bond, would not be allowed to appear in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) necessary for taking admission to post graduate medical courses.

The Government’s fiat hit the students like a bolt from blue as PG-NEET examination is just two months away. The students were in a fix as much of the time could be wasted in legal battle. The experts, while defending the Government, termed it as ‘right order but at wrong time’.

The Government’s intention though pious but could they have not brought it at the start of academic session itself, cried parents.

Meanwhile, Government counter-attacked the parents’ argument that it was told to them at eleventh hour. The new circular issued by Government stated, “It was not informed to the students at eleventh hour. The students are informed about the condition of completion of rural stint during their admissions to MBBS itself. We just reminded them whether they have completed the bond or not.”

According to parents, students could shift their rural stint to post-PG also. They should be allowed to appear in CET and after their PG they would complete the bond. The parents argued that Government should have put stringent condition well in advance. Indian Medical Association, too supported parents’ stand.

Meanwhile, Dr Praveen Shingare, Director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) sent a letter to Minister requesting him to defer the decision and impose the condition for the students appearing in CET in the year 2019.

When contacted, Girish Mahajan, who agreed to the parents’ demands and decided to defer the decision, told, “We are asking students to complete the bond within next two years or face the consequences. We also are not against any student.”

TNGDA seeks more centres for NEET PG exam

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Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association (TNGDA) has sought the National Board of Examinations (NBE) to allot more centres for NEET (post graduation test) in Tamil Nadu. The association also wanted the Centre and NBE to increase the number of candidates that can be accommodated in each centre.

TNGDA State secretary N. Ravisankar told on Wednesday that the number of seats allotted to the centres in Tamil Nadu were exhausted by Wednesday and the aspirants were now forced to look for centres in other States.

“The number allotted for each centre is inadequate in Tamil Nadu from where around 10,000 aspirants are to write the examination. Even centres in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa are full in one day. It will be a tough task from the side of working and non-working MBBS graduates to travel to other States to write the examination.

The Centre and NBE have to intervene in the issue and allot more centres and increase seats,” said Dr. Ravisankar.

Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Tiruchi and Tirunelveli are the centres in Tamil Nadu. The examination is scheduled to be held in January 2018.

According to him, the online application facility that started on Tuesday was crippled with server issues due to which more than six hours were needed to fill one application. The examination fee is Rs. 3,750 and that has to be paid online. “Once a centre is selected and the fees paid, an applicant is not allowed to chose another centre. With server issues consuming more time, applicants are not able to look for vacancies in other centres as fee has already been paid. E-filing of the application involves six stages and applicants are not able to proceed beyond second stage due to server issues,” he said. Though aspirants can apply for the test online till November 27, lack of availability of seats in centres within the State is a major concern that will force many people to stay away from attending the examination, Dr. Ravisankar added.

He said that the State Government should pressure the Centre to permit doctors from Tamil Nadu to write the examination in the centres within the State itself.

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.

NEET-PG will be one session exam: Central Government

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The Central Government has issued a communication that this year’s NEET PG exam would be held in just one session. This decision is apparently in response to the growing demand to hold National Eligibility cum Entrance Test(NEET) for both PG medical and dental courses.

Ever since NEET was made the only entry point to PG and SS courses, the medical fraternity has demanded that NEET PG be held in a single session to ensure a level playing field for all PG aspirants.

“For post graduate admission in our country, with one national level exam, around 1 lakh doctors would give the exam after MBBS for entry into PG. It is important that the exam pattern creates a level playing field for all students. Till now, the exam is held over a duration of 8 to 10 days, with each student getting a specific date, with students being exposed to a number of luck factors rather than fairness. Moreover, students are also exposed to inefficient infrastructure and suffer with major drawbacks such as system failure and computer crashes. It is important that all these issues be sorted out before holding NEET PG and NEET SS this year,” said Dr. Sagar Mundada, ex- President of MARD(Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors).

With such issues in the backdrop, on June 2017, a complaint was filed with the Prime Minister’s office. In response, the Prime Minister’s office itself has stated that NEET PG would be held in a single session, and also that Prometric would no more conduct the exam.

Book Review: PG NEXT 2017 Supplement

Kalam Books has recently published ‘PG NEXT 2017 Supplement’, a much-awaited release after their highly acclaimed book ‘PG NEXT’ published last year for the NEET-PG aspirants. This book fills the void caused by a lack of a proper reference guide for PG aspirants after the new pattern of exam was implemented. Released at an optimum time of approximately three months before the exam, this book literally justifies its name – it takes your PG preparation to the NEXT level just before the exams when you are running short of time.

The approach of this book is very different from the other so-called guide books currently available in the market. It does not aim to overburden the student with lengthy and voluminous text. Instead it focuses on the core area – the development of concepts – through short discussion of questions asked in recent exams. While one starts reading the book, it soon casts an addictive spell on the reader; the discussion of one question prompts you to go to the next question. All the explanations have been written by respective subject experts. The book is handy and can be carried anywhere – in the library, classroom or wards. The font size and the page quality are good, making it a treat for the eyes.

The book contains more than 1600 MCQs arranged in subject-wise manner covering all the subjects of undergraduate medical curricula. The questions are arranged in subject-wise manner so that students who want to check their preparation in a particular subject can do so easily. The MCQs have been chosen carefully based on the latest NEET / AIPGMEE pattern, so as to acquaint the readers with the type of questions likely to be asked in the forthcoming NEET-PG exam.

Detailed explanatory answers have been provided for each and every MCQ asked in the question section. References from the latest editions of the standard textbooks have been provided for in-depth learning. Numerous tables, flow-charts, diagrams and mnemonics have been incorporated at appropriate places making the process of learning easy for students. Emphasis has been given on grasping the basic concept behind the questions instead of rote learning.

A cardinal feature of this book is the inclusion of 100-plus image based questions similar to what candidates have faced in the actual examination. With the introduction of image based questions in NEET –PG and also in AIIMS examinations, the preparation strategy has underwent a sea change. The few guide books available in the market are unreliable and often fall short of the students expectations. This book fills the void of a reliable book containing the latest NEET/DNB pattern questions, as it has been prepared by a group of experts who are renowned in their respective fields and are associated with mentoring medical PG aspirants for a long time, whose feedback have been incorporated in this book. In short, this is the ultimate indispensable tool for NEET-PG, which takes your preparation to the next level. The publishers have taken care to keep the book available on online e-commerce platforms so that students from remote locations can buy it easily.

Click Here to Buy

PG aspirants seek exemption from Article 371 D: Andhra government

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After super-specialty courses, now post-graduate (PG) students are seeking exemption from Article 371 D to get admission in medical colleges of other States. In this regard, the State government has written a letter to Central Health Minister J P Nadda and other officials to make AP a part of the national pool quota.

Recently, candidates seeking admissions in super speciality courses DM and M.Ch approached the High court of Hyderabad contending that all open seats in institutions affiliated to NTR Health University, Vijayawada and Kaloji University of Health Sciences, Warangal have to be filled based upon the presidential order Article 371 D. This article states that officials are not entitled to conduct a common counselling at the National-level for the seats coming within the control of the Universities in Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh.

However, a majority of the people opposed it and even the High court passed an interim order declaring that the 15 per cent seats can be filled by anyone from the country based upon NEET rank.

With this order, nearly 67 candidates from AP have secured admissions in other States’ colleges. There are 1,323 seats for DM and 1,234 seats in M.ch across the country. In AP, only 49 DM seats and 47 Mch seats are available. If AP is included in the national pool, it will benefit the students from AP and Telangana region.

Just as super-specialty courses got an exemption from Article 371 D for the open category of seats (15 percent), medical aspirants are requesting the government to implement the same for PG courses like MD, MS etc. At present, the State has only 774 clinical PG seats in seven government medical colleges across the State and including all clinical, nonclinical and diploma courses, a total of 6,074 seats are available in the State.

Y Mayuri, a medical student preparing for PG NEET 2018 said, “Across the country, there are over 40,000 seats available for pursuing PG. Due to Article 371D, we are losing the opportunity to acquire the 15 per cent national quota which means a lot for us. We hope that from the coming year, an exemption is given for post-graduate courses too like those given to super specialty courses.”

Meanwhile, the department of Health and Medical education is also planning to join in the national pool quota where the candidates from the State will be eligible to take up admission in colleges of other states. Earlier, Minister Kamineni Srinivas Rao said, “We are planning to join in national pool quota, which in turn will benefit the State students as they can avail the opportunities in other States too. We have written a letter to Minister J P Nadda, who assured us that he will initiate it by the coming academic year. It needs to be approved by the President and also by the Parliament.”

US-based Prometric won’t conduct NEET-PG 2017

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The US-based company Prometric Testings that until now conducted the National Eligibility and Entrance Test Post Graduate (NEET-PG) has said it will not be conducting the winter exam in 2017.

 

The National Board of Examinations (NBE) and Prometric have mutually agreed to part ways, the company said in a statement on Friday.

 

The NBE will now look for a new partner to conduct the November-December examination for the NEET-PG.

 

Introduced in December 2012, NEET-PG is an eligibility-cum-ranking examination prescribed as the single entrance examination to various MD/MS and PG Diploma Courses as per Section (10) of Indian Medical Council Act 1956.

 

As the testing partner, Prometric administered more than 400,000 NEET-PG exams to students over the last six years. However, in July the testing company admitted to Delhi Police that their software “can be breached”.

 

The November-December exam would have been the last administration in its partnership. However, following students demand for single-day testing the contract ended, it said.

 

“We are extremely disappointed to not be administering the winter NEET-PG administration under the circumstances,” said Soumitra Roy, Managing Director, Prometric India.

 

“We will continue to support NBE in a smooth transition of its programme in the best interests of students and test takers,” the company added.

 

The Delhi High Court on August 21 sought reply from the Centre and the police on a plea seeking court-monitored CBI/SIT probe into the alleged illegalities in the NEET 2016, conducted by Prometric.

 

The company said it has provided the authorities access to their key technology and operations experts. “We proactively continue to support the authorities in their investigation,” it said.

 

NBE Removes Executive Director Bipin Batra Over Violation Of Rules

The National Board of Examinations (NBE), regulatory body for postgraduate medical education, has removed its executive director Bipin Batra for allegedly occupying the post in violation of rules. The move comes in the wake of allegations of irregularities, lack of transparency and malfunctioning of the NBE administration, with the latest being charges of malpractices in the conduct of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

The autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a meeting here yesterday, also ordered an inquiry into various charges of irregularities against Batra.

“Bipin Batra shall cease to discharge the functions of executive director, NBE, with immediate effect,” said a draft resolution adopted by the board.

It also said Rashmikant Dave, vice president, NBE has been appointed honorary executive director till a regular appointment is made to the post in compliance with rules.

NBE president Abhijat Sheth, when contacted by PTI, confirmed the developments.

Bipin Batra had been officiating as the executive director of the board without an approval by the central government, the resolution said, adding that “it is apparent that there is no regularly appointed executive director, NBE in place”.

The present board was nominated on June 20, 2016, and ever since many allegations have plagued the body.

 

The NBE president, on behalf of the board, has apprised the central government and the administration on multiple occasions regarding the various alleged misdeeds that have come to light.

“As such, for the purposes of conducting an expeditious and independent enquiry into all facts and allegations that have come to light, it is resolved to suspend Bipin Batra from all posts being held by him in NBE in any capacity whatsoever until further orders,” the resolution said.

The board has also resolved to appoint Kirtiman Singh as the standing counsel for NBE as an interim arrangement, thus ceasing services of all other advocates/standing counsels who currently represent it.

The National Board of Examinations was established in 1975 with the objective of improving the quality of medical education and establishing standards of post graduate examinations in modern medicine on an all-India basis.

Last year, the governing body of the NBE was reconstituted by the government and asked to examine the problems restricting the expansion of postgraduate medical education in the country.