Only 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.
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. The system which was exclusive to the students of government medical colleges and government quota students from private and cooperative medical colleges had been a drag on them as others could gain three precious years during their higher education. The compulsory system which designated the student to a particular centre had the potential to affect the preparation for higher education of these students, he said.
Turning the service into voluntary nature would give the candidates more freedom to choose the centre where they would offer their service and also the timing of their service, within legal constraints, it is pointed out.
It has also been pointed out that though the government has abolished the CRS, the details of VRS still remained ambiguous.
With the rural service made voluntary, it is not unlikely that the government would extend certain incentives to those who opt for it. Since linking the bonded service as an incentive for admission to higher education has been ruled out, the government may consider weightage for such candidates in the PSC entrance test to the State health service. Likewise, the postgraduate bond could be linked to the Directorate of Medical Education service. The State is also silent on the remuneration package as sought by the medicos.
One year mandatory bonded service for PG students Government silent on remuneration package
One year mandatory bonded service for PG students
Government silent on remuneration package