The government of the Union Territory of Ladakh has imposed a compulsory government service policy for students seeking admission under the reservation quota.
Before securing admission under ST quota, Ladakh union territory quota or any other quota, medical students have been asked to sign a bond tying them to serving in Ladakh—for five years in case of MBBS and three years for BDS—immediately after completion of their degree courses. The order says in case they fail to serve in Ladakh, an MBBS has to pay Rs 50 lakh to the UT of Ladakh and a BDS Rs 30 lakh. The order says in case a student fails to complete the degree, he has to pay half the bond amount to the government.
“Any outstanding amount payable to the administration of Union Territory of Ladakh from the applicant shall be recovered from him/her as arrears of land revenue,” the order reads.
“The bizarre order was issued late last year. After becoming an UT, we stopped having a state-level legislative body, and the secretaries do whatever they want to. This order shows the efficacy of bureaucratic rule in Ladakh,” Smanla Dorje Nurboo, councillor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, tells Outlook.
Nurboo on Thursday protested against the order in Leh, saying the bond order is not well thought-out, as it only serves the interest of the administration, not of the students. He said the government is asking a higher secondary part II student that if he gets admission to MBBS under reservation, he/she has to serve in Ladakh after completing the degree or pay Rs 50 lakh if he/she fails to do so. “In Ladakh, there are no medical colleges. There are only two hospitals in Ladakh. The order has not specified where these students will work after completing their degrees,” Nurboo said.
“We don’t have a state-level legislative body, but that doesn’t mean officials can issue such hilarious and anti-people orders. Don’t they understand how it can impact the psychological make-up of a student? Imagine a young student being asked to sign a bond that he has to give Rs 25 lakh to the government if he fails to complete a degree,” Nurboo says, explaining that any student should have the option of changing his subject midway, or can fail to complete a degree under many other circumstances.
“Where does it happen?” he asks, adding that the government should withdraw the humiliating order.
The bond has specified eight clauses that students have to sign before taking admission in medical colleges, dental colleges or institutes of medical sciences, and also covers PG specialisation and PG diploma courses in medical disciplines.