The Kerala High Court recently sought the views of the National Medical Commission (NMC) in a plea to permit Indian Medical students from different Chinese universities to attend classes in the Medical Colleges as a temporary measure until they can return to China for regular classes in their respective institutions. [Parent Association of Foreign Medical Students v Union of India]
Justice VG Arun directed the NMC to file an affidavit in this regard.
“Learned standing counsel for the National Medical Commission shall cause an affidavit to be filed by a responsible officer regarding the Commission’s stand as to whether petitioners can be permitted to attend classes in the Medical Colleges as a temporary measure till they are able to return to China for attending regular classes in the respective institutions,” the order stated.
The court was considering a petition filed by the Parent Association of Foreign Medical Students, a registered Association formed to ensure the welfare of Indian students who are pursuing their medical education abroad, especially in China.
According to the association, over 90 students were forced to return to India during the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of the year 2020.
The petitioner submitted that in light of recent events, it is highly unlikely that the Chinese government would be willing to accommodate its international students back in the universities until the nation reaches the stage of zero pandemics.
It was also pointed out that the students were pursuing their degrees in top universities in China which had facilities on par with Indian medical colleges and were also approved by the NMC.
However, ever since they returned, the students had only been attending online classes thereby missing out on the usual clinical training.
Thus, the petitioner asked the court to order the National Medical Commission to grant the students an opportunity to avail practical training in Indian medical hospitals and validate their online classes.
The court will consider the matter again on August 29 by which time the NMC is expected to file its affidavit.
The petitioners are represented by Senior Advocate George Poonthottam and advocates Nisha George, AL Navaneeth Krishnan, Vishnu B Kururp, Chithra P George, Reginald Valsan, Anshin KK, Hana Karnolia Madona Cyril and Luke J Chirayil.
Asisstant Solicitor General of India Manu S and Standing Counsel for the NMC, advocate Titus Mani Vettom represent the respondents.