Ukraine Returnee Medical Students Can't Be Accommodated In Indian Colleges : Centre Tells Supreme Court
The Centre stated that students went to foreign countries due to two reasons - poor merit in NEET and affordability.
In a significant development, the Central Government has told the Supreme Court that Indian medical students who returned from Ukraine cannot be accommodated in Indian universities as there is no provision in the National Medical Commission Act allowing it.Allowing such relaxation will hamper the standards of medical education in India, the Centre stated in the counter-affidavit filed before...
In a significant development, the Central Government has told the Supreme Court that Indian medical students who returned from Ukraine cannot be accommodated in Indian universities as there is no provision in the National Medical Commission Act allowing it.
Allowing such relaxation will hamper the standards of medical education in India, the Centre stated in the counter-affidavit filed before the Supreme Court. The affidavit has been filed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare responding to a batch of petitions seeking relief for Indian students who had to abandon their medical courses in Ukraine midway after the Russian attack in February- March 2022.
The Centre stated that students went to foreign countries due to two reasons - poor merit in NEET and affordability. Allowing poor merit students in premier medical colleges in India can lead to other litigations. Also, they won't be able to afford the fee structure in Indian colleges.
"It is humbly submitted that in case these students with (a) Poor Merit are allowed admission in premier medical colleges in India by default, there may be several litigations from those desirous candidates who could not get seats in these colleges and have taken admission in either lesser known colleges or have been deprived of a seat in medical colleges. Further, in case of affordability, if these candidates are allocated Private Medical Colleges in India, they once again may not be able to afford the fees structure of the concerned institution", the affidavit stated.
The Centre further stated that the public notice issued by the National Medical Commission on September 6 is a no-objection for academic mobility between foreign universities for students who cannot complete their course due to war situation in Ukraine. However, that public notice cannot be used a "backdoor entry in Indian colleges offering UG Courses".
The Centre stated that it has taken pro-active measures to assist returnee students from Ukraine, while balancing the need to maintain the requisite standard of medical education in the country.
"Any further relaxation in this regard, including the prayer seeking transfer of these returnee students to Medical colleges in India would not only be dehors the provisions of Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 as well as the regulations made thereunder, but would also seriously hamper the standards of medical education in the country".
A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia on Thursday adjourned the hearing, after the counsel representing the Central Government informed that affidavit has been filed by the Union Ministry.
The petitioners relied upon the report submitted by the the Lok Sabha Committee on External Affairs on August 3 in which it recommended the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to consider accommodating the students who returned from Ukraine in Indian private medical colleges as a one-time measure. In view of the said recommendation, the petitioners sought appropriate decision from Government of India and the National Medical Commission in respect of students from Ukraine.
In the last hearing on the matter, the bench had enquired about the policy framed by the Government of India pursuant to the earlier directions passed the Court to frame a scheme for students who could not complete foreign medical education due to the pandemic. The bench was informed that students, who have completed their courses but could not complete internship in foreign countries like China, have been allowed to do the same here. However, in the case of Ukraine students, not all of them are in the final year.
Case Title: Archita and others versus National Medical Commission and others, WP(c) 607/2022 and 6 connected cases.