Bengaluru: The Karnataka state government has decided to ensure that medical graduates selected under government quota undergo the mandatory rural service this year.
The plan comes in sharp contrast to the earlier compulsion that was applicable for all quotas including NRI, management, and government requiring them to do rural service. It is reported that students had through the courts received a stay on the earlier mandate. TOI reports that now the state government is planning to restrict the rule for government quota students only.
“Fearing the verdict may go against it, the government recently filed an affidavit in the high court stating that it would make changes to the rule, restricting it only to those students who pass out on government quota,” sources said.
To ensure compliance on the part of the student the Health and Family Welfare Minister, K R Ramesh Kumar informed that the government was planning to amend the Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates completing the Medical Course Act, 2012, and making it mandatory for under and post-graduate students, who have availed seats under the government quota to serve in the rural area for a minimum of one year.
“We have filed an affidavit to the high court, while seeking to vacate an interim stay, to ensure junior doctors are made available from this academic year itself,” he added.
In 2015, the state government issued an order mandating one-year rural service for all students who receive their medical degrees from colleges in Karnataka. But this order was challenged in the high court and a stay order issued in favour of the petitioners.
Further still, the state government in order not push too hard, went to the extent of filing a petition in court seeking permission to announce voluntary rural service, but this also did not help.
“The court accepted our petition and allowed us to go ahead, but only 18 out of 4,000 candidates have opted to join rural service,” said a senior official to the TOI.
Now, under the proposed amendment, all students under the government quota need to sign a bond for compulsory rural service to qualify as MBBS doctors.
“If anybody violates this provision, not only would they become ineligible to get their certificates, but would also have to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh to the government as per the provisions of the new Act, ” he added.
Rs. 6 lakh is spent by the Karnataka government on every medical student passing out under the government quota, that provides education at minimal costs along with other basic facilities free of charge. Despite the sum spent, students show reluctance in serving the rural belt.Of the approximate number of 4,000 candidates who received their MBBS and MD degrees and diplomas in 2017, only 18 candidates opted for rural service, the department of Health and Family Welfare admitted to the daily.