GO stipulates voluntary rural service for medicos

The State government has abolished the Compulsory Rural Service (CRS) for medical students, the provision which had led to a series of agitations by medicos in the past few years.

In a Government Order dated October 8, the government has done away with the CRS and replaced it with Voluntary Rural Service (VRS).

The order has also conceded the demand for allowing onetime maternity benefits for medical students during their postgraduate and super-specialty courses.

The order, however, stipulates the postgraduate students in government medical colleges and government merit quota students in self-financing and cooperative medical colleges to undergo one year mandatory bonded service. But, this stipulation will be waived if they have already completed on year CRS. The super specialty students who have not undergone one year CRS or completed bonded obligation at postgraduate level will have to complete bonded service as super specialists for one year, the order says.

Cautious optimism

The medicos have welcomed the move with cautious optimism. According to Dr. P.S. Jinesh, vice-president of the Kerala Medicos Joint Action Council which spearheaded an agitation, the order has brought the three-year bonded service system to one year.