The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Center to consider setting up an online portal containing details of foreign colleges/universities where Indian students, who were pursuing medical courses in Ukraine and had to return due to the war, they will be able to access to continue. their studies.
A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta after the latter stated that the government has contacted some countries where students can seek admission to complete their studies and then get your degree certificate from Ukraine.
Explaining what the government had done so far, he told the court, which is hearing pleas from some of these students, that those who could complete clinical practice (residency) had already been allowed to do so in India and using goodwill with Ukraine, he made sure they got their titles. Then there was another set of students who were allowed to do their studies online and complete their final year and residency in India.
Regarding students who are in their first, second and third year, the government has contacted some countries where they can apply for admissions and added “except these countries, other countries are not compatible. We cannot insist on other countries with our vision”.
He said the government had asked Ukrainian authorities to allow students to go to those countries during the conflict to complete their studies and then issue them with a final Ukrainian degree.
The bench agreed that Indian universities will not be able to accommodate 20,000-30,000 students and asked what would be the process for a student to find out which foreign university is compatible with them and how they should go about the admission process.
“Let’s say I have to go to Belgium. How will I fare?” Justice Dhulia asked.
Justice Gupta said there was a need for coordination and suggested setting up the web portal.
Mehta said he was told that a liaison officer had been appointed.
The court noted that one official may not be enough and asked the government to consider developing the portal to bring more transparency.
Mehta assured that he will discuss it with the government.
Senior counsel Salman Khurshid said the students might face language and fee problems in some other country, but the court said they will have to find a way out if they want to complete their course.
Senior advocate R Basant also appeared for the students and asked why Indian universities could not do this if foreign universities can.
To this, the bench said that they cannot insist on it by right.
The Union Health Ministry had earlier filed an affidavit in the court, saying it had already introduced some “proactive measures to help returning students” and that any further relaxation, including transfer to medical colleges in India, would be “outside (beyond the scope of) the provisions of the Medical Council of India Act, 1956 and the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019”. Allowing such transfers would also seriously hamper the standards of medical education in India, the ministry added.
He also said that the NMC had approved an academic mobility program under which it would accept the completion of the remaining course in other foreign countries (with the approval of the parent university or institution in Ukraine).