Free exit from PG medical courses or consider debarring, remove bonds: NMC suggests

The NMC has asked state governments to consider debarring NEET PG medical students for one year instead of imposing a seat leaving bond.


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The NMC also shared four case studies on the mental and financial challenges faced by the students. (Image: Official website)The NMC also shared four case studies on the mental and financial challenges faced by the students. (Image: Official website)

Anu Parthiban | January 23, 2024 | 01:36 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The National Medical Commission (NMC) has recommended state governments to do away with the NEET PG seat leaving policy and consider debarring students from taking admission in their state for one year. The suggestion was made considering the level of stress, anxiety faced by the medical students.

The decision was taken during NMC’s anti-ragging committee meeting held on January 9. On behalf of the anti-ragging committee, Undergraduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) president Aruna V Vanikar said: “I am requesting you to kindly review the seat leaving bond policy in medical colleges in your State at your level and do away with the seat leaving bond. Your efforts in this regard will go a long way in creating a supportive and nurturing environment for medical students. This, in turn, will foster their mental health and enhance their overall well-being leading to a positive transformation in the medical education system.”

The seat leaving bond was introduced for medical students especially PG medical students to discourage abrupt resignations and wastage of medical seats. However, the number of PG medical seats have increased in the last 10 years. Informing the Rajya Sabha, the NMC recently said that the PG seats saw an increase of 127% from 31,185 before 2014 to 70,674.

The commission said that the seat wastage issue is not of much significance as the number of seats have increased. “Another issue of seat blocking is valid till the counselling is going on and after the session has started and the last date of admission is over the negative effect of lower merit candidates being benefitted by leaving of the seat does not arise,” it said. As many as 4,400 out of 64,059 postgraduate medical seats were left vacant in 2022.

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Mental health challenges

The commission has highlighted four case studies on the challenges faced by the students, especially in terms of mental health and payment of seat leaving bonds. It said that the some parents who could afford have paid hefty amounts, however, “the unlucky one” may die by suicide in such mental health condition.

A female student enrolled in MD Pediatrics at a Government Medical College in Madhya Pradesh in the academic year 2022-23 faced mental harassment and gruelling 36-hour duty shifts without rest. The student had to pay Rs 30 lakh as a seat leaving bond. Her father had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking help.

In 2020, an MS General Surgery student at another Government Medical College in Madhya Pradesh was threatened by seniors to either provide a substitute or resign when asked permission for leave to be with his father who met with a road accident.

He deposited a hefty amount of Rs 30 lakh as seat leaving bond, derived from his father's superannuation and resigned due to mental stress. The amount was not refunded although the Postgraduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB) approved his re-joining.

The NMC also cited incidents where first-year PG medical students in Maharashtra and Telangana faced sexual and mental harassment.

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