The Maharashtra unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged state medical education minister Girish Mahajan to defer the government resolution on reserving 20 per cent seats in post-graduate medical courses for in-service doctors till the next academic year. According to the government, the practice would ensure specialised medical help in public sector health facilities in rural and tribal areas.
In a letter sent to the minister, Maharashtra IMA president Dr Suhas Pingale has pointed out that the counselling process for the seats has already started and the untimely implementation of the policy would mean meritorious candidates lose out on their seats. “The in-service quota can be implemented from the next academic year after prior intimation of the exam appearing candidates. We request you to hear the grievances and stall the implementation for the academic year 2022-23,” Dr Pingale has appealed.
The government resolution of September 26 on the in-service quota was issued on short notice and came after the registration for all India counselling and Maharashtra state counselling. Implementation of the in-service rule has led to uncertainty for those who had an assurance of getting a government seat and they cannot go back and revert the deposit for semi-private and deemed colleges or edit the form for the same, IMA office-bearers said.
As the round for all India quota is over, many students did not opt for DNB seats either because they were assured of getting a good seat through the counselling process in Maharashtra. This untimely implementation and sudden introduction of the in-service rule has created a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in many such candidates. The counselling was delayed by five months and still there was no proper intimation of a 20% reservation for in-service candidates, the letter has stated.
If candidates were properly informed, they would have proceeded accordingly. This has led to many meritorious candidates losing out on their seats because of the unfair and sudden imposition of in-service quota, the letter added.
Dr Chinmay Akre, state joint secretary, Indian Medical Association Junior Doctor Network Maharashtra, said the quota will affect the seats intended for open category, and those on the borderline will bear the brunt. “Most of those who qualified did not opt for other states as they thought they would attain seats here based on merit in the exam. This resolution without prior disclosure would mean deserving entrants lose out on their seats, which is quite unfair,” Dr Akre said.