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Ukraine-Returned Med Students Can’t Be Accommodated in Indian Colleges: Centre

Government cited lack of an enabling provision in the National Medical Commission Act for such a move.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

The Union government, on Thursday, 15 September, told the Supreme Court that the Indian medical students who returned from Ukraine after the Russian attack, cannot be accommodated in the Indian universities due to lack of an enabling provision in the National Medical Commission Act.

Since their return from Ukraine, students have staged multiple protests and hunger strikes demanding that the Indian government allow them to be admitted into Indian medical colleges in order to secure their future.

In a counter-affidavit filed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare before the SC, the government claimed that allowing such a relaxation will hamper medical education standards in India.

The ministry was responding to a batch of petitions which sought relief for Indian medical students who abandoned their course in Ukraine midway following the Russian invasion in February 2022.

The government stated that these students went to foreign countries either due to their poor merit in NEET or affordability, Live Law reported.

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The affidavit stated:

“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.”

It emphasised on a claim that these students “won't be able to afford the fee structure in Indian colleges," the report added.

‘NMC Notice Cannot Be Used as Backdoor Entry to Indian Colleges’

It also stated that while the National Medical Commission’s public notice dated 6 September does not object to academic mobility between foreign universities for students who had to abandon their courses due to the invasion, the notice cannot be used as a “backdoor entry in Indian colleges offering Under Graduate Courses.”

The government also said that it has taken up proactive measures to assist the students and concurrently, balanced the need to maintain requisite standards of medical education in India.

A bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia adjourned the hearing till Friday, according to Live Law.

During the last hearing, the bench asked the government about the framing of a scheme for students who could not complete their medical education abroad due to the pandemic, pursuant to earlier directions.

(With inputs from Live Law.)

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