Youth For Equality (YFE), which has been fighting against any increase in reservation in higher education, has recently aquired the data of medical students opting out of one year rural stint under RTI and interpreted it. The findings are shocking. The information shows that it is not only students from the general category who pay the bond money of Rs. 100,000 and skip rural stint. Most students from the reserved category—be they from the OBC, SC or ST who get 100% free education—also skip the rural stint.
The government asks students to put in a year of service in return for the subsidised medical education they avail of throughout the five years. Ministers have held that medical students in the open category enjoyed subsided education (approx Rs 23,000 each year) and yet dodged the rural stint, but now it is established that even those in the reserved category and those hailing from rural areas do the same. At present, reservation at the MBBS level is 50% (including 19% for OBC, 13% for SC and 7% for ST).
Take the case of GSMC attached to KEM Hospital in Parel. Of the 108 students admitted in the open category in the 2006-’07 academic year, about 75 paid the bond sum; 42 of the 48 students in OBC category did the same; 19 of the 23 SC students paid; and 8 of the 12 in ST category did the same. It is estimated that over 90% of the students don’t take up government service. Barely 5% to 10% of the 3,300 students every year remain with the system, while others flock to private sector.