Mumbai: In the absence of a clear government directive on whether medical graduates of the 2017-18 batch will be considered eligible for post graduation courses this year, despite not having completed their rural stints, led four PG applicants move the Bombay High Court to seek the scrapping of the October 12 government resolution, as per which students would have to complete their rural bond before appearing for their postgraduate exam.They have also sought exemption from the new eligibility criteria of the government.
The four petitioners, in this case are Angad Ranadive and Parth Mulgaokar, pass outs of GS Seth Medical College, Mumbai, and Shariva Ranadive and Shreyasi Tendolkar undergraduates from Government Medical College, Kolhapur.
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for PG admissions is scheduled on January 7, however, the state medical education and drugs department has yet to release an official notification on the eligibility criterion.
October 12, saw the department pass a government resolution, making it compulsory for post-graduate applicants to complete a one-year bond service. It is mandatory for students of government medical colleges — both undergraduate and postgraduate — to serve a one-year bond service in a hospital run by the public health department of the state, the resolution stated.
Earlier, aspirants who cleared the PG entrance examination in the first two attempts were allowed to pursue their compulsory bond service after completing their post graduation courses, while others were allowed to discontinue after paying Rs. 10 lakh as compensation to the state.
As the Government resolution passed on October 12 met with stiff opposition from NEET aspirants appearing for NEET PG on January 7, 2018, the department had given an assurance that eligibility criteria for PG courses would not be applicable for these aspirants . However, a written notification has yet to be issued by the department.
“The decision has come at the last moment. Applicants have been preparing for a year for the NEET exam and it is unfair for the government to spring up a new rule like that,” said Angad and Shariva’s mother, who is spearheading the campaign to the Indian Express. ‘The government is violating its own bond, ’she added to the HT.
Speaking of aspirants losing a year or even more, if they were made to do a rural stint before the entrance test, she stated, “The students won’t be able to prepare for NEET if they are posted in rural hospitals. Besides, the government doesn’t have enough posts to accommodate all the doctors. So, it may take a while for them to get a posting.”
An earlier report of the DNA spoke of an online campaign started by a Muzaffar Khan, requesting the government to scrap the new norms. This online petition had managed to gain the support of 2000 signatories.
“With PG NEET scheduled to be held on January 7, 2018, students are under immense pressure as they won’t be allowed to appear if the norms are not relaxed,” said Khan.