'Why are MBBS students exempted from serving in rural areas?' Supreme Court asked the question to the petitioner

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued a notice on a petition challenging the notification of the Karnataka government. In this, the state government has said that medical students will have to do compulsory rural service for one year, this has been made mandatory for permanent registration in the Karnataka Medical Council. During the hearing on the petition challenging this notification, the Supreme Court asked the medical student that just because you are rich and study in a private college, rural service should not be demanded from you? Can a medical student make such an argument?

This case came up for hearing in the bench of Justice PS Narasimha and Justice Sanjay Karol of the Supreme Court. Justice Narasimha asked the medical student, “Do you want exemption from rural service because you are studying in a private college?” The court said that those studying in private institutions do not have any responsibility for the development of the country.

'Where did this idea come to your mind from?'
During this, the lawyer appearing on behalf of the petitioner said that the issue is of language. On this, Justice Narasimha said that what happens with this? It would be best if you go and work somewhere else. It would be even better if you work in different parts of India. Just because you are rich and you study in a private medical college and you want exemption from going to rural areas? Where did such a thought come to your mind? Are you buying a degree? Private medical colleges should not ask you to go to rural areas? Can you even say this?

In this case, the petition filed by the petitioner states that students studying on private seats in private and deemed universities have to pay a lot of money for studies and there are different criteria and in such a situation they should not be asked for compulsory rural service. The petitioner has appealed to the Supreme Court to direct the Health and Family Welfare Services Commissionerate to issue NOC without compulsory rural service so that registration can be done. Also, the Karnataka Medical Council should be directed to do permanent registration of the petitioners.

The decision of the court will end the dispute
According to the scheme, all MBBS graduates, postgraduate medical students and students of super specialty courses, whether they are studying in government universities, colleges or private and deemed universities, will have to compulsorily do public rural service for one year. Only after fulfilling this responsibility can the applicant get registered with the Karnataka Medical Council. A notification was issued for this on 28 July 2023. This notification also includes private students and medical students with private seats. In this case, the notification has been challenged in the Supreme Court, but after the questions raised by the Supreme Court, the students will have to tell the Supreme Court why they should be exempted from service in rural areas. However, the decision of the Supreme Court will put an end to the legal debate arising in such cases.

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