Faced with protest, Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad on Thursday clarified that there was no proposal to extend the period of MBBS course and directed to put in abeyance an MCI notification, which said that students who have completed the course should serve at least one year in rural areas before seeking admission to PG course.
The decision came a day after a large number of medical students held a protest at Nirman Bhawan in the national capital against the proposal.
The students, who were protesting against increasing the duration of MBBS course from the existing 5.5 years to 6.5 years with the addition of a compulsory one-year rural posting, were reportedly cane-charged by the police on Wednesday.
They were trying to meet the Health Minister and had decided to go on a strike from Thursday. The decision came after Azad’s meeting with the representatives of agitating students of medicine here.
“He listened to all their concerns patiently and allayed their fears regarding Medical Council of India notification in respect of one year mandatory rural posting of PHC after completion of MBBS, before they seek admission to PG Course.
“The Minister has directed concerned officials of the Ministry to keep the notification in abeyance,” a Health Ministry release said here.
A letter to this effect has already been issued to the Medical Council of India, it said.
Setting at rest all speculation that the period of MBBS course has been extended by two years, Azad made it clear that there is no such proposal.
He also said that rural posting will not be mandatory for appearing in PG examination for the year 2015-16.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.