SC directs Centre, NMC to find solution to accommodate medical students returned from China, Ukraine

Supreme Court states that careers of medical students that returned from China, Ukraine will be left in a lurch if solution is not found.

Supreme Court. (Picture: Shutterstock)Supreme Court. (Picture: Shutterstock)

Press Trust of India | December 9, 2022 | 07:51 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre and the National Medical Commission (NMC) to find out a solution to accommodate those undergraduate medical students who have returned from foreign countries like Ukraine and China, saying their career will be left in lurch if no solution is found at this stage.

A bench of justices B R Gavai and Vikram Nath said if necessary, the Centre may appoint a committee of experts to find a solution to the problem of the students. The top court said it hoped the Centre will give due importance to its suggestion and find out a solution to save the career of the students who are an asset of the country.

Also Read | Admitting Ukraine-returned Indian students in institutions would disrupt medical system: Centre

"If no solution is found, their entire career could be left in lurch apart from families put in sufferance. "We find that this is a fit case for solution by experts. We refrain from issuing directions. We request Union of India, in consultation with National Medical Council to find out a solution to address this human problem," the bench said.

The top court noted that most of the students have completed their courses but have not been able to undergo their clinical training. Additional solicitor general, Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, submitted that in medical course, practical training is of utmost importance. She said academic studies cannot take the colour of practical training and said the decision of not incorporating the students has been taken after consulting the Ministry of Health, Home and External Affairs.

The apex court said, "They are justified in observing that the court does not possess expertise. However, there are myriad situations which are beyond control like Covid which has been unimaginable. "It is after a century that the humanity had to face such a situation. We find that the career of almost 500 students who have already put in five years of study are at stake. They have completed seven semesters physically and three semesters through online."

Also Read | India asks China to inform Indian students of strict rules to practice medicine

The top court said it is in full agreement with the Centre that academic training cannot take place of practical training. "However, the parents of the students must have spent huge amount in the study and if no solution is found, their entire career could be left in lurch apart from families put at sufferance," the bench said.

The Centre had earlier said it cannot accommodate the medical students studying in universities of Ukraine, who have returned to the country due to war there, in Indian medical institutes or universities as it "would disrupt the entire medical education system" here. The top court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by undergraduate medical students of first to fourth-year batches in their respective foreign medical colleges/universities.

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