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MBBS graduates in Maharashtra may no longer avoid rural service by paying a fine.

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Peeyush Ghalot
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(Image Courtesy: - The Statesman)

The penalty escape path for the rural service bond after obtaining an MBBS degree would no longer be available. All students applying to government medical schools or to government reservation seats in private universities would be required to fulfil a one-year rural service bond, which they could avoid up until now by paying a fee. The Medical Education Department of Maharashtra released a Government Resolution (GR) indicating that this decision would apply to all individuals seeking admission to MBBS beginning in the academic year 2022-23. This rural service bond, often known as' social responsibility service,' would be in addition to all MBBS students' existing 12-month mandatory internship at hospitals affiliated with their individual medical institutions. Following that, MBBS students will be sent to various hospitals or health centres in rural regions, for whom mandatory rural service would be applicable. After getting their degree, MBBS students at government and civic-run medical institutions must sign a pledge to serve in rural Maharashtra for a year. Students who fail to do so face a punishment of Rs 5 lakh from 2004-05 to 2007-08, but it has since been doubled to Rs 10 lakh. The option of finishing MBBS study at government and civic-run institutions without having to complete social responsibility work in exchange for a penalty is being phased away. According to the GR, the government invests a significant amount of money on students' education at government and civic-run medical colleges, despite the fact that the fees charged at these institutions are quite low. The rural-service bond is a kind of social responsibility for medical students, and it is funded by a tax collected from the general population.

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