Monday, July 22, 2024

Union flags missing state quota doctors


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SHILLONG, July 9: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) on Tuesday raised concern that many of those who pursued their MBBS degree from the general category under the state quota have not returned to serve the state.
After meeting Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, KSU education secretary Pynkmenlang Sanmiet said the union has witnessed that a majority of those who availed MBBS seats under the general category of the state quota during the past many years have never come back to serve in the state.
“It is due to this reason that there is a shortage of doctors in the state. We have impressed upon the government to take steps so all of them return to serve in the state,” the KSU education secretary said.
Meanwhile, he said the Health department could not provide the details of the number of MBBS seats allocated to the state for this year since the issue of the NEET examination is still pending in the Supreme Court.
Sanmiet said there were some irregularities in the allotment of seats last year. “We found that the students from the Khasi-Jaintia category were denied inclusion in the general category despite having qualified for the same. We were assured by the Health Minister that all the deserving students will be accommodated,” the KSU education secretary said.
He reminded that there was a case last year in Jaintia Hills where a student from outside was allocated an MBBS seat under the state quota. He had managed to obtain a Permanent Residential Certificate (PRC) from here.
“We would like to appeal to the department concerned to take all possible measures to properly screen the documents of students from outside, especially the residential certificate and PRC. We would also appeal to the authorities not to issue PRC if the applicant is not a permanent resident of the state,” Sanmiet added.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister assured the KSU that they are actively reviewing the matter with the Law department and revisiting the policy to ensure that students, who were allocated MBBS seats under state quota by relaxing the NEET qualification, return to serve in the state.
“We will take all possible steps to ensure that students, who have availed the MBBS seats and signed the bond with the government, return to serve the state,” Lyngdoh said.
To a query, she said the government in the past had issued notices against those who failed to return after completing their MBBS degree.
According to her, this policy will need to have some teeth to be able to make such individuals return and serve in the state.
Lyngdoh said they have witnessed a proportionate increase in the number of MBBS seats allocated to Meghalaya.
Stating that the state got 94 seats in 2023, she said she hopes there will be a further increase in the allocation of the seats to the state for this year.
According to her, they will get to know the state’s quota of this year once the NEET counselling starts.
She also assured that the controversy over the issuance of PRC which happened last year is not going to happen again since they have managed to put a better system in place.
Replying to a query, the Health Minister said they have sought advice and guidance from the Personnel department on the allotment of seats as per the state’s reservation policy.
Citing an example, Lyngdoh said there could be an applicant who is neither a permanent resident of the state nor does he have an ST certificate but bears a tribal surname.
“What do we do with such applications? Do we treat them as indigenous tribes or do we also have to treat them as normal unreserved applicants for the medical seats? These are peculiar technical situations. We should not take decisions on our own. We should get the guidance and the correct advices of the Personnel and Law department to ensure that we conform with the law and policy of the state,” Lyngdoh said.
Asked if there are such cases, she said there have been cases in the past with such a situation.
“We need to ensure that such misapplication of the reservation policy does not happen again,” she added.


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