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Prior Knowledge Of Senior Secondary Level Biology Or Biological Science Is Essential For Admission To MBBS Course: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
17 Feb 2021 3:13 AM GMT
Prior Knowledge Of Senior Secondary Level Biology Or Biological Science Is Essential For Admission To MBBS Course: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that prior knowledge - both theoretical and practical, of senior secondary level in biology or biological sciences is an essential qualification to get admission to MBBS Course.The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed that equivalence in qualification is not merely at the level of a 10+2 requirement, but MCI regulation...

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The Supreme Court observed that prior knowledge - both theoretical and practical, of senior secondary level in biology or biological sciences is an essential qualification to get admission to MBBS Course.

The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed that equivalence in qualification is not merely at the level of a 10+2 requirement, but MCI regulation requires equivalence in 'standard and scope' in an examination where the candidate is tested in Physics, Chemistry and Biology including practical testing in these subjects, along with English.

Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences refused to grant admission to a candidate on the ground that there was no proof of her studying Biological Sciences in the qualifying examination. Allowing the writ petition filed by the candidate, Telangana High Court, after taking note of the equivalence certificate issued by the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education, held that the refusal on the part of the University is illegal.

Assailing this order of the High Court, the University approached the Apex Court contending that the Regulation 4(2) of the Medical Council of India Regulations on Graduate Medical Education,  lays emphasis not only on the equivalence of the qualification with respect to 10+2 or intermediate sciences examination in the Indian University/Board but that the student should have complete schooling in those subjects in each of the concerned years, i.e. 11th and 12th and should have passed 10+2 with English as a subject as well.

The court observed that the equivalence in qualification is not merely at the level of a 10+2 requirement, i.e., that the candidate should have passed an examination equivalent to the intermediate science examination at an Indian University/ Board. Additional to this requirement, Regulation 4(2)(f) requires equivalence in 'standard and scope' in an examination where the candidate is tested in Physics, Chemistry and Biology including practical testing in these subjects, along with English, the bench observed. The court said:

A careful reading of the said provision discloses that the MCI emphasized that the candidate should have undergone study at the 10+2 stage, (or in the intermediate course) in the specified subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Bio-technology. In this case, the certificate relied upon by the student merely clarifies that she undertook a course whilst in the 10th grade. That, by no means, is sufficient to fall within the description of "equivalent" qualification under Regulation 4(2)(f). Nor, in the opinion of this court, can it be deemed adequate having regard to the letter of the Assistant Principal of Conrad High School that the AP course in Biological Sciences is of college standard.. In the opinion of this court, there is a rationale and compelling logic on the part of the University to say that the candidate should have studied biology or biological sciences (apart from the other two science subjects, along with the further requirement of having studied English) in all the relevant years during the intermediate or at 10+2 level. Further, the reference to having studied in the first year in a degree course, at the college level with the said subject, carries with it, the implication that the student would have necessarily undergone academic study and training in the said three subjects at the 10+2 or intermediate level (without which, admission in a degree course is inconceivable in India). The further emphasis on having attended or undertaken practical lessons, (again at that level, in each of the concerned years) clearly signifies that a candidate should have undergone study in those subjects for the last two years at school or intermediate college level. The regulation is further clear that the examination score (marks) in Mathematics shall not be taken into consideration for the purpose of admission to a medical course, in reckoning merit or performance in the qualifying examination.

While setting aside the High Court judgment, the bench observed that to be eligible, the candidate should produce clear and categorical material to show that she underwent the necessary years of study in all the stipulated subjects. The bench said:

In the present case, Regulation 4(2)(f) explicitly refers to the subject matter requirement reiterated in all the eligibility conditions from (a) to (e); the substance of the eligibility requirement indeed, is that the candidate should have qualified an intermediate level examination or first year of a graduate course, and studied the subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at this level, along with practical testing in these subject areas, and the English language. This subject matter requirement is at the heart of eligibility to be admitted into the medical course. . For these reasons, this court is of the opinion that the interpretation placed upon the regulations in both the cited cases, by the Madras High Court, do not reflect the correct position. To be eligible, the candidate should produce clear and categorical material to show that she underwent the necessary years of study in all the stipulated subjects. This court is of the opinion that such stipulations are to be regarded as essential, given that the course in question, i.e., MBBS primarily if not predominantly, involves prior knowledge - both theoretical and practical, of senior secondary level in biology or biological sciences.
CASE: KALOJI NARAYANA RAO UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES  vs. SRIKEERTI REDDI PINGLE [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 390 OF 2021]
CORAM: Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat
CITATION: LL 2021 SC 90


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