The new academic year might see only those medical graduates who availed admission through government quotas, doing the compulsory one year rural service in Karnataka.
The Medical Course Bill which was approved in 2015 had required all the medical students, including the management and NRI quota students, to do one year of mandatory rural service. But this was followed by students approaching the court and getting a stay.
Anticipating that the judgment might go against it, the government filed an affidavit in the high court proposing changes to the rule by restricting it to those students who pass out from the government quota.
"The students who get in through government quota are duty-bound to serve the society. Earlier, the government had made the rule intending it for all the students, but the non-government students went to court," said Dr. Dayanand, Deputy Director of Medical Education, Karnataka.
He went on to say that it will be made a part of the training and students who fail to do the rural service program will have to pay a penalty and will not be able to obtain their degree certificates.
Many of the medical students refuse to do the rural service despite the government spending around Rs.6 lakh each on those who fall under the government quota. According to information provided by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, only 18 out of the 4000 graduates who received their diplomas, MD and MBBS degrees in 2017 opted for rural service.
The officials told the Times of India that the students who take admission through the government quota will have to sign a bond that they will serve for one year in a rural area after the completion of their studies. They added that a fine of Rs.10 lakh will have to be paid in case of violation of the bond, as per the new provisions.
Reacting to this possibility, Anjana (21), a student of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMC) told The News Minute, "It would be really unfair because we have been working hard from our undergraduate days itself. While we have 36 continuous working hours during our internship, it is almost like a holiday for the private people. And the rural service being compulsory only for the government quota students is not very reasonable as it means more hard work."