Can't accommodate Ukraine-returned medical students: Centre to Supreme Court
The Central Government notified the Supreme Court on Thursday that medical students who returned from war-torn Ukraine following Russian incursions could not be accommodated in Indian universities, according to Live Law. The administration said that there was no provision in the National Medical Commission Act that will allow the arrangement. Such deregulation will jeopardize medical education standards in India, it told the top court.
- The development comes more than a month after the National Medical Commission (NMC) gave Ukraine returned students a one-time waiver to make them eligible for the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam (FMGE).
- Earlier this month, the National Medical Council (NMC) expressed "no objection" to the Ukrainian government's academic mobility program for international medical students under exchange programs.
According to the Center's counter-affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, allowing such a waiver will lower the quality of medical education in India. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare submitted the affidavit in response to a number of pleas from Indian students who were forced to discontinue their medical studies in Ukraine as a result of the Russian onslaught in February-March 2022.
Students migrated to other countries for two reasons; poor NEET performance and affordability, according to the Centre. It said allowing low-income students to attend India's top medical schools may result in further litigations, and they may also be unable to afford the fee structure.
According to reports, the NMC published a public notification on September 6 stating that it had "no objection" to academic mobility between foreign institutions for students who are unable to complete their degrees owing to the conflict in Ukraine. However, the NMC public notice, according to the Centre, should not be utilized as a "backdoor admission in Indian colleges offering UG Courses."
According to Live Law, the hearing in the matter was adjourned on Thursday by a two-judge bench following the submission by counsel representing the Centre. Notably, the petitioners cited a report tabled in parliament by the Lok Sabha Committee on External Affairs urging that the Health Ministry accommodate Ukraine-returned students to Indian medical institutes as a one-time measure.