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Supreme Court Directs NMC To Frame Scheme For Foreign Medical Students Affected By Pandemic To Undergo Clinical Training In India

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
29 April 2022 5:31 PM GMT
Supreme Court Directs NMC To Frame Scheme For Foreign Medical Students Affected By Pandemic To Undergo Clinical Training In India
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The NMC has been directed to frame such a scheme within 2 months as a one time measure for foreign medical students who could not complete their clinical training.

Taking into account the plight of Indian medical students who could not complete the clinical training of their foreign MBBS course due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has issued certain directions to the National Medical Commission.The Court directed the NMC to frame a scheme as a one time measure within two months to allow students who have not actually completed clinical training...

Taking into account the plight of Indian medical students who could not complete the clinical training of their foreign MBBS course due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has issued certain directions to the National Medical Commission.

The Court directed the NMC to frame a scheme as a one time measure within two months to allow students who have not actually completed clinical training to undergo clinical training in India in the medical colleges which may be identified by the NMC for a limited duration as may be specified by it, on such charges which it determines.

The Court further said that it will be open to the NMC to test the candidates in the scheme so framed in the manner within next one month, which it considers appropriate as to satisfy that such students are sufficiently trained to be provisionally registered to complete internship for 12 months.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian was hearing an appeal filed by the National Medical Commission challenging a Madras High Court direction to allow provisional registration for a student who could not complete the clinical training of her MBBS course in China due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allowing the appeal, the Court held that the NMC is not bound to grant provisional registration to a student who has not completed the clinical training. The Court said the online clinical training cannot be a substitute for actual clinical training.

At the same time, the Court issued the above directions to the NMC to alleviate the concerns of Indian students who could not complete the clinical training of the foreign courses.

The Court observed that the services of these students should be used to augment the health infrastructure of the country. Hence, the NMC should allow them to complete actual clinical training at such institutes for such duration as it decides.

"..the fact remains that the students were permitted to undergo medical course abroad and that they have completed their curriculum according to the certificate granted by such Foreign Institute. Therefore, such national resource cannot be permitted to be wasted which will affect the life of young students, who had taken admission in the foreign Institutes as part of their career prospects. Therefore, the services of the students should be used to augment health infrastructure in the country. Thus, it would be necessary that the students undergo actual clinical training of such duration and at such institutes which are identified by the appellant(NMC)and on such terms and conditions, including the charges for imparting such training, as may be notified by the appellant(NMC)".

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the NMC, submitted that the pandemic and the Ukraine war has thrown up new challenges. The counsel said that the NMC will take a "holistic view" as to how to safeguard the interests of the Indian students by not compromising on the quality of medical education expected from them in India.

It may be noted that in the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, several writ petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to allow Ukraine-returned medical students to complete their course in India. The Attorney General for India KK Venugopal told the Court on March 21 that the Central Government is looking into the issues relating to the education of Indian students evacuated from Ukraine.

Case details

National Medical Commission vs Pooja Thandu Naresh | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 426 | CA 2950-2951 OF 2022 | 29 April 2022

Coram: Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian

Counsel: Sr. Adv Vikas Singh for appellant, Sr. Adv S. Nagamuthu for respondent



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