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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Fresh MBBS graduates may be allowed to sit for PG test without doing rural stint in Maharashtra

The proposal has to be approved by medical education minister; from 2019, only students who have completed rural service will be eligible

mumbai Updated: Nov 10, 2017 15:18 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times
Every year, thousands of MBBS students in Maharashtra’s government colleges skip the mandatory rural service bond.
Every year, thousands of MBBS students in Maharashtra’s government colleges skip the mandatory rural service bond.(HT File)

The proposal to make one-year rural service mandatory for medical graduates from government institutes has undergone yet another change even as it awaits a final nod from the Maharashtra government. Fresh graduates, who cleared the MBBS degree in 2017, will be allowed to appear for the upcoming post-graduate entrance exam even though they would not have completed their one-year rural stint, as per the latest proposal.

This proposal is yet to be approved by the state medical education minister.

The amendment comes days after medical students raised objections to the original decision as per the October 12 government resolution (GR) that made the completion of the one-year bond service in rural areas mandatory for students to get their MBBS degree. Until now, students were given six years after completing their MBBS degree to finish their post-graduate course as well as the rural stint.

The proposal was mooted as every year thousands of MBBS students in government colleges skip the mandatory rural service bond. Those who fail to do so are supposed to pay a fine of Rs 15 lakh. However, at present, there is no mechanism to monitor whether students have fulfilled this requirement.

Earlier this month, the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) issued a notification saying that the evasion of bonded service will be treated as a misconduct and unethical behaviour, and that doctors found guilty will face action under the Medical Council Act, 1965, and could lose their registration as a medical practitioner.

“I had proposed that this new rule be applicable from 2020, but the secretary has proposed that it be made applicable by 2019. The final word will come from the state medical education minister,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director, DMER, Maharashtra.

The latest proposal suggests that students be allowed to apply for the 2018 post-graduate courses even if they have not completed their one-year rural stint. This extension has been recommended after several students from the current batch complained about the sudden change in rules. “Those who cleared their medical degree in 2017 will be allowed to appear for the post-graduate entrance exam in 2018 without completing their bonded service. But from 2019 onwards, this will be discontinued,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, medical education secretary.

For the 2019 post-graduate medical entrance test, only students who have cleared their bonded service will be eligible. The updated proposal has reached the minister’s office and is awaiting the final nod.