Panaji: The undergraduate (MBBS/BDS) students associated with Goa Medical College and Goa Dental College may soon face a compulsory service bond penalty hike.
The recent order issued by the public health department notifies the same adding that the students in the Goa Medical College pursuing UG, PG and allied medical courses will have to submit a bank guarantee with the government at the time of admission, as an assurance if they fail to meet the specific bond obligations.
As suggested by certain media reports, these new guidelines were made effective for dental and medical college students from 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively; however, the order mandating the aforesaid guidelines has currently been put on hold by the State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane.
The Health Minister had confirmed that the order has been kept in “abeyance” and that further decision will be taken after discussion with the Health Secretary.
At the time of admission, the medical students have to submit a bank guarantee of Rs 10 lakh for post-graduate courses at GMC and Rs 10 lakh for dental courses. Earlier, the penalty for GMC’s post-graduate and diploma students was Rs 10 lakh and Rs 7 lakh, respectively, while it was Rs 10 lakh for dental students.
Following are the compulsions stated in the “abeyant” order issued dated October 24, 2018, by under Secretary, Health:
- The bond service will be made uniformly applicable for a period of two years.
- The students of Goa Dental College pursuing the course in Bachelor of Dental Surgery will have to pay Rs 5 lakh as bank guarantee while students pursuing postgraduate degree courses will have to pay Rs 10 lakh from the academic year 2017-18.
- For Goa Medical College, the new enforcement bond service order will be applicable from the year 2018-19. MBBS students will have to furnish the bank guarantee of Rs 5 lakh, while students of the PG degree courses (three-year course) will have to deposit Rs 7 lakh, while PG diploma students (two years) will have to give Rs 7 lakh.
- Students of the super speciality courses (three years) ought to furnish Rs 10 lakh while students in the allied health science courses will have to give Rs 5 lakh as bank guarantee.
- The bank guarantees shall be valid for the period of the respective courses followed by the bond service period, and also during their higher studies in case opted by the students/candidates while on bond service period.
- Failure to complete the course or to complete the bond service, or on default, such guarantee furnished by the students at the time of admission shall be forfeited to the government without any further notice. The strict enforcement of the provisions of bond for UG/PG courses shall be done within six months of the passing of the said course by the candidates.
- On completion of MBBS/BDS/MDS/MD/MS (Degree/Diploma) courses, the doctors selected for higher studies like PG/M.Ch/DM/DNB/long-term fellowship course of one year duration and above etc shall temporarily be exempted from the provision of bond service and their original documents would be released for higher studies, provided, they shall come back and serve the government for the remaining period of bond service on completion of their higher studies for which permission is requested.
- No exemption from the provision of the bond shall be granted for a short-term fellowship of less than one year/workshop/other training etc.
- The bond period of UG and PG courses will not be clubbed and candidates shall have to serve the bond period of UG and PG courses independently. In case of a candidate, who cannot complete bond period due to admission to PG course, he or she may be permitted to complete bond period as per qualification. Exiting bond candidates, who have completed two years of service can be permitted to leave at their request.
According to a recent report by TOI, a committee headed by Additional Secretary, Health has been constituted for selection and deployment of candidates under bond at various hospitals which shall meet twice a year immediately within 10 days of the declaration of results.
Certain sources in the Goa Medical College informed The Navhind Times that as there is no specific time limit mentioned in the order for students to deposit the bank guarantee, they would not be asked to furnish the amount at the time of admission.
“The GMC authorities, in consultation with government, will finalise about the time frame that can be given to students to furnish the bank amount, and I don’t think that they would be asked to pay on the day of admission,” the sources added.
“Until last year, students had given only an undertaking as part of the bond provision that they would complete the course,’’ an official said. “Bond would be executed if a student fails to complete the course and wastes the seat, thus spoiling chances of those below the rank who would be otherwise got admission for the course in question,’’ he added.
In the meantime, this bond penalty hike has been termed unjust and unfair by the medical aspirants as well as their parents. A PG student at GMC, on request of anonymity, said that she has no issue if the government implements the bond rule in toto, but it’s objectionable that students be made to pay the bank guarantee of Rs 10 lakh at the time of admission.
However, the order has been held until further notice is issued by the Public Health Department. The State Health Minister has recently stated, “The bond penalty would be increased, and as far as the clause of bank guarantee is concerned, I have issued an order to keep it in abeyance.”
This decision came soon after students of GMC made a representation to Health Minister appealing against the bank guarantee clause in the bond service.
An official told TOI that the government took the decision to get students to submit a bank guarantee at the time of admission in a bid to get them to comply with the bond provisions. It was noticed that some students found ways to skip the bond provisions after completing the course.
The health minister said that after many students leave the institute without serving the bond and then don’t bother to acknowledge communication from the college.
“There is no question of linking bank guarantee to admission and I have given instructions not to implement the same,” he added speaking to The Navhind Times.