Even as the State government has been keen on enforcing one year rural service for MBBS graduates, Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) K.S. Sriprakash struck a discordant note. He was clearly in favour of making one year rural service optional.

“There is a need to rethink if the one-year rural service period can be made optional with incentives to inspire the young graduates to get into rural service,” said Dr. Sriprakash said here on Friday at the graduation day celebrations of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI).

He emphasised the need to make rural service optional so that interested students are driven towards it. “We should not make students do this out of compulsion,” Dr. Sriprakash said.

He urged the young graduates to pursue post-graduation courses to become experts in specific areas. “However, it is very competitive as we have only 22,503 post-graduate seats in the country as compared to the 45,629 under-graduate seats. Less than 50 per cent of the students have the opportunity to study further,” he said.

Nevertheless, Dr. Sriprakash said that there was a need for policy makers to support fresh graduates by increasing the number of PG seats. Meanwhile, O.S. Siddappa, Dean and Director, BMCRI, said, “We have sent a proposal to increase the PG seats to 196 seats under 22 broad specialities.

“A proposal has been sent to start five new PG courses and three super-speciality courses.”