Mumbai: The apprehension and confusion that has been ruling the roost for the past few months regarding the eligibility criterion for NEET PG for the year 2017-18 among applicants and their parents has finally been put to rest with the State government announcing its decision to postpone the implementation of the compulsory one-year rural stint for MBBS graduates by one academic year.
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.
A Friday night released government resolution by the state medical education department stated that the bond rule will be applicable from the academic year 2018-19.
The government decision will now allow students who have cleared their MBBS this year to sit for their PG NEET entrance test without having completed their one-year compulsory rural stint.
“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,” Director, Directorate of Medical Education & Research (DMER), Dr Pravin Shingare told HT.
“From 2018-19, only those MBBS graduates who finish the one-year bond service will be eligible for PG admissions,” he added.
The postponement comes weeks after a hue and cry were raised by PG NEET aspirants against the original decision of the government, making the one-year rural stint mandatory for eligibility to the PG NEET entrance exam for government college applicants and for being given their MBBS degrees, as well.
Till now, students had a six-year period at their disposal after completion of their undergraduate degree, to finish their PG course as well as the rural stint.
The proposal has been initiated keeping in view that every year thousands of MBBS pass-outs skip the compulsory one-year rural stint.
However, the erring students have to pay a fine of Rs. 15 lakh. With no process to keep a check on miscreants, medical pass outs were sometimes even found getting away without having done the mandatory rural service.
Recently the DMER issued a notification, that it would be considered as misconduct or unethical behavior if candidates skipped rural service; and errant doctors would be taken action against, under Medical Council Act, 1965. Further,the notification said that it may also result in them losing their registrations, as medical practitioners reports HT.
“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 State Medical Education Secretary, Sanjay Deshmukh to the HT.
In an earlier story done by Medical Dialogues, it was reported that the NEET postgraduate aspirants for the year 2018-19 had stood up to the state government’s decision of making the one-year rural service mandatory for PG aspirants. The argument given by them was that the announcement had come two months ahead of the upcoming NEET PG exam, for which candidates had already started preparations. The had argued that If the ruling was implemented by the government for this year, the aspirants who sat for the Entrance Test would be disqualified on the basis of ineligibility. An online application initiated by a parent of one of the NEET-PG aspirants received 1,600 consenting signatures.