WITH NO clarity on whether medical graduates of 2017-18, who haven’t completed their mandatory bond service, will be allowed to apply for post-graduation, some applicants have moved court for relief. Four applicants have filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court, seeking exemption for the 2017-18 batch from the new eligibility criteria.
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for PG admissions is scheduled on January 7 but the state medical education and drugs department has not yet clarified the eligibility criteria for the exam.
On October 12, the department had passed 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. Earlier, students who cracked the PG entrance exam within the first two attempts could postpone the rural service till after post-graduation. Others would have to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh to break free of the bond.
Following opposition from graduates and parents, the department had assured that the new rule would not be implemented from this academic year. However, an official announcement is yet to be made. This has forced four medical graduates from Mumbai to file the petition. “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 Aparna Ranadive, a parent who is spearheading the campaign. This is her son’s first attempt at the test and daughter’s second. Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan was not available for comment.