Medical Students Back From Ukraine Can't Be Accommodated In Indian Colleges: Centre Tells SC

According to the government, after completing their remaining courses, the certificate of completion/degree is expected to be issued by the parent institutions in Ukraine.

By Shivam Shandilya
Fri, 16 Sep 2022 12:03 PM IST
Minute Read
Medical Students Back From Ukraine Can't Be Accommodated In Indian Colleges: Centre Tells SC
Medical students from Ukraine request the govt to help them continue their study in India (ANI)

IN A major blow to thousands of Indian undergraduate medical students who were studying in Ukraine but were forced to return due to the country's conflict with Russia, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday that they could not be accommodated in medical colleges here due to a lack of legal provisions.

The Centre stated in an affidavit that no permission has been granted by the National Medical Commission (NMC) to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students in any Indian medical institute/university.

The government responded to a batch of petitions filed by undergraduate medical students in their respective foreign medical colleges/universities who are primarily seeking transfer to medical colleges in India.

"It is humbly submitted that in so far as such students are concerned, there are no such provisions either under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 or the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 as well as the Regulations to accommodate or transfer medical students from any foreign medical institutes/colleges to Indian medical colleges", the government said.

It, however, said that in order to help and assist such returnee students who were unable to complete their MBBS courses in Ukraine, NMC, in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), issued a Public Notice dated September 6, 2022, indicating that NMC would accept completion of their remaining courses in other countries (with the approval of their parent university/Institution in Ukraine).

According to the government, after completing their remaining courses, the certificate of completion/degree is expected to be issued by the parent institutions in Ukraine.

It referred to the students' allegations that, while the public notice of September 6 conveys no objection to the academic mobility programme, which is a temporary relocation of the affected foreign students in different foreign countries around the world, it is unclear whether Indian universities are included in the realm of "Universities in different countries around the world."

According to the government, these students claimed that when they tried to apply for academic mobility at their respective Ukrainian medical universities, such universities refused to consider their applications for academic mobility in the first semester of the academic year 2022–23.

"It is humbly submitted that the aforesaid affidavit (of the student) is completely frivolous and misleading. It is submitted that in so far as the aforesaid academic mobility program is concerned, the same was introduced only for those students, who were not able to continue their education due to war like situation in Ukraine", the Centre said.

The government stated that the majority of the dissatisfied students/petitioners had gone to foreign countries for two reasons: first, due to low NEET exam merit, and second, the affordability of medical education in such foreign countries.

"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", the government said.

The government added that any further relaxation, including the request for transfer of these returnee students to medical colleges in India, would not only violate the provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956 and the National Medical Commission Act of 2019 as well as the regulations made thereunder, but would also seriously jeopardise the country's medical education standards.

A bench headed by Justice Hemant Gupta will be taking up the matter on Friday after the counsel appearing for the Centre said that they have filed the affidavit in the batch of pleas.

The students have relied on a report dated August 3 by the Lok Sabha committee on external affairs, which recommended to the ministry of health and family welfare that these students be accommodated in Indian colleges/universities as a one-time measure.

The Supreme Court had previously asked the Centre to state its policy or position on the housing of these medical students.

 

(With Agency Inputs)

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