MBBS seat aspirants must sign one-year rural service bond

Fine on defaulters increased to Rs 10 lakh, as per the amended rules

Starting this academic year, students who select MBBS seats in private colleges under government quota will have to give an undertaking to serve in rural areas for at least a year after completing the five-and-a-half-year course.

They will have to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh for violation.

Candidates will need to give the undertaking on a Rs 100-stamp paper while accepting seats allotted to them. Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) will allot seats to students during the real allotment round on Wednesday. Students will have to accept or reject or retain seats between July 26 and 30. If they accept the seats, the bond will have to be executed. KEA has already published the format on its website.

The undertaking is being sought as per the amendment to Rule 11 of the Karnataka Selection of Candidates for Admission to Government Seats in Professional Educational Institutions Rules, 2006, notified on July 17. Parents will also have to sign the bond paper.

Until now, only students of government medical colleges were required to give the undertaking. The amount of fine (Rs one lakh) for violation was  less last year, according to Dr G S Venkatesh, In-charge Director, Medical Education.

The Compulsory Rural Service Bill was likely to be passed in the current session of the Legislative Assembly, he added.

Once the legislation is enacted, MBBS students in private colleges (non-government quota) will also be required to give the undertaking on rural service.

Even students from outside Karnataka will not be spared. Fresh MBBS graduates posted on rural service will be paid Rs 100 less than what the government medical doctors get. Dr Venkatesh claimed that “only a small section” of the medical fraternity was resenting the move.

But Dr Chikkananjappa, President, Karnataka Medical Council, didn’t hide his displeasure and said the move was “impractical”. “If a doctor is sent to a village, will it bring about a revolution,” he asked.

According to him, most communicable diseases prevailing in rural areas can be controlled if such basic amenities as clean drinking, toilet, food, shelter, etc were provided to the inhabitants. “Incurable diseases such as cancer cannot be treated in villages,” Dr Chikkananjappa told Deccan Herald.

According to him, the move is a “hogwash”. “Doctors are to be posted in rural areas on contract. But you will have to bribe the officials for a posting,” he sulked, adding that the government provides neither proper equipment nor essential medicines.

The safety of women doctors was another cause for concern, the KMC president remarked. Quacks won’t allow genuine medical practitioners to stay in villages. Worse still, doctors who serve in rural areas are not encouraged to teach in medical colleges.

The solution, Dr Chikkananjappa says, could be to open health centres at hobli level where doctors can practise in groups.

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