The Supreme Court on Tuesday told the Central government to allow MBBS students -- who had returned from war-torn Ukraine as well as from China and the Philippines during the Covid-19 pandemic -- to clear their examinations in medical colleges here by giving them two attempts for the purpose.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati submitted before a bench headed by Justice B.R. Gavai that a committee formed under the chairmanship of Directorate General of Health Services with representations from the National Medical Council (NMC) recommended that the returned students of penultimate year and who further studied online would be given a chance to clear the MBBS final exam.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a compliance affidavit, said: "The students may be offered a single chance to clear the MBBS final, both part 1 and part 2 examinations (both theory and practical) as per existing NMC syllabus and guidelines without being enrolled in any of the existing Indian medical colleges. They can give and clear examination within a period of one year. Part 2 will be allowed only after part 1 is cleared."
The affidavit added that the committee has emphasised that this option be strictly a one-time option and not become a basis for similar decisions in future. "After clearing these two examinations, they would have to complete 2 years of compulsory rotatory internship, first year of which will be free and the second year paid as has been decided by NMC for previous cases," it said.
The affidavit said the theory examination could be conducted centrally and physically, on the pattern of Indian MBBS examination and practical could be conducted by some designated government medical colleges.
Senior advocates Gopal Sankaranarayanan and S. Nagamuthu, and others, representing the students, raised concern in connection with a single attempt being given to the students, along with other issues of syllabus.
The bench, also comprising Justice Vikram Nath, said the court accepts the committee's report subject to a minor modification that the student being offered a single chance to clear the MBBS final, both part I and part II examinations, be read as student being offered single/two chances to clear both the examinations. "We clarify that the two chances will be for both part I and part II examinations," said the bench.
Previously, the apex court had asked the Central government to consider the issues faced by students, who returned from foreign countries.
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