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Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, December 11, 2013
The Punjab government has allowed government doctors to pursue post graduate courses at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, but the doctors will have to sign a bond of Rs. 70 lakh for serving the state government for at least 15 years.

According to the fresh policy guidelines issued for admission to post graduate courses at the PGI, the state government has decided to sponsor Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) doctors to study at the institute. These doctors will be allowed to study in branches like paediatrics, gynaecology, anaesthesia and radiology.

However, the candidates who will succeed will have to submit a bond of Rs. 70 lakh to serve the Punjab government for a period of at least 15 years after completion of the course.

Besides, during the three-year term of the course, the candidate will be considered on duty and will be paid salaries and increments.

However, for admission in postgraduate courses under the in-service quota in Punjab's government colleges, the doctors have to sign a bond of just Rs. 20 lakh.

The PCMS Doctors Association, Punjab, has welcomed the move. "It was our long-pending demand that Punjab serving doctors be allowed to study at the PGI," said Dr Gagandeep Shergill, general secretary of the association. The government should also increase the bond amount to Rs. 70 lakh for the in-service doctors, who want to study in government colleges. "It will ensure that the doctors who study on government expense serve the government," said Dr Shergill.

The PGI has reserved 20% of the total postgraduate medical seats for the doctors serving in various state governments. Now the process to increase these seats is also on and the institute is planning to increase these seats up to 40% of the total seats. "Most of the times, we don't get candidates for these seats and they remain vacant," said Dr Amod Gupta, dean, PGI.

There are around 200 seats of various specialties in every session (six months) of the institute.