The Center on Friday told the Supreme Court that they are acting on the suggestions made by the court to help medical students who have returned from Ukraine to India in the wake of the war with Russia.
The top court had on September 16 suggested that the Center would create a web portal to assist these medical students with details of foreign universities where they can complete their courses as per the government’s academic mobility programme.
The counsel appearing for the Center told the apex court on Friday that he has written to the secretaries of the Ministry of External Affairs as well as the Health Ministry on the issue.
“In terms of the last order, we have written to the secretaries of MEA (ministry of external affairs) as well as Health. Our instruction is that they are on it,” the counsel told a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia. Our instruction is that they are on it,” the counsel told a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia. The counsel further said that in the last hearing, the Supreme Court had indicated that a website can be made where information can be put so that there is clarity.
We are on it,” the lawyer said, adding,”It is taken with utmost priority.” The apex court posted the matter for hearing on October 11. When one of the lawyers said that final year medical students may be allowed to take online education, then the bench said, “We are not saying anything. We will pass a comprehensive order”. Initially, a lawyer appearing for some of the students said that several states have written to the Center on the issue. Arguing that around 13,000 medical students are affected, the counsel said that the Center and the National Medical Commission should talk to these states.
On September 16, the apex court said there should be a transparent system and the web portal should specify complete details of the fees and the number of seats available in alternative foreign universities from where these students could complete their courses.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, had sought time to get instruction from the government on the suggestions of the bench.
The top court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by students who are medical students of the first to fourth year batch in their respective foreign medical colleges/universities.These students are primarily seeking transfer to medical colleges in India in their respective semesters.
The Center, in its affidavit filed in the matter last week, had said that the students cannot be accommodated in medical colleges here due to lack of provisions under the law and so far no permission has been granted by the National Medical Commission has been given to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students in any Indian Medical Institute/University.
It, however, had said that to aid and assist such returnee students who could not complete their MBBS courses in Ukraine, NMC in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs has issued a public notice dated September 6, 2022 (academic mobility programme), indicating that NMC would accept completion of their remaining courses in other countries (with the approval of parent university/Institution in Ukraine).The government had stated that after their remaining courses are thus completed, the certificates are, of course, expected to be issued by parent institutions in Ukraine.
The government had stated that after their remaining courses are thus completed, the certificates are, of course, expected to be issued by parent institutions in Ukraine.
It had added that in the public notice dated September 6, the phrase “global mobility” cannot be interpreted to mean accommodation of these students in Indian colleges/Universities, as the extant regulations in India do not permit migration of students from foreign universities to India.
The Government had further said, “It is humbly submitted that in so far as such students are concerned, no such student shall be deemed to have been prescribed under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 or the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 along with the Regulations to accommodate or transfer of medical students from any foreign medical institution/colleges to Indian medical colleges”.
The students have relied on the August 3 report of the Lok Sabha Committee on External Affairs, by which it had recommended to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to accommodate these students in Indian colleges/universities as a one-time measure.