One-year rural service mandatory for Maharashtra doctors only from 2018-19 | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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One-year rural service mandatory for Maharashtra doctors only from 2018-19

This means students who cleared their MBBS this year will be eligible for post-graduate entrance exams even if they haven’t completed the compulsory one-year rural bond service

mumbai Updated: Nov 25, 2017 20:24 IST
Shreya Bhandary

Putting an end to the confusion surrounding the compulsory one-year rural stint for MBBS graduates, the Maharashtra government has decided to defer its implementation by an academic year.

In a government resolution (GR), released late Friday night, the state medical education department said the bond rule will be applicable from academic year 2018-19.

This means students who cleared their MBBS this year will be eligible for post-graduate entrance exams even if they haven’t completed the compulsory one-year rural bond service.

“We had asked the government to push implementation of the rule by two years, but they have agreed to postpone it by only one year,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director, Directorate of Medical Education & Research (DMER). “From 2018-19, only those MBBS graduates who finish the one-year bond service will be eligible for PG admissions.”

The change comes weeks after medical students raised objection to the original decision of the government, making a year-long bond service in rural areas mandatory for medical students in government colleges to get their MBBS degree. Until now, students were given six years’ time, after completing their degree, to finish their PG course as well as the rural stint.

The proposal was mooted as every year thousands of MBBS students in government colleges skip the mandatory bond service in rural areas. Those who fail to do so have to pay a fine of Rs15 lakh. At present, there is no mechanism to monitor whether students have fulfilled this requirement. However, earlier this month, the DMER issued a notification saying the evasion of bonded service will be treated as a misconduct and unethical behaviour. The doctors who are found guilty will face action under Medical Council Act, 1965, and could end up losing their registration as medical practitioners.

The one-year extension has brought relief to hundreds of students from the current batch, who had previously complained about the sudden change in rules. “Those who cleared their medical degree in 2017 will be allowed to appear for the PG entrance exam in 2018, even without serving their bond service. However, from 2019 onwards, this provision will be discontinued,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, state medical education secretary.