New Delhi, Oct 1, (ILNS) The Delhi High Court, had on Thursday, sought the response of the Centre and the National Board of Examinations upon a batch of petitions filed by Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder medical practitioners, wishing to pursue Super Specialty studies in the country.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh while hearing plea by medical practitioners who are aggrieved by the government’s decision that has rendered them ineligible to take the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test- Super Specialty 2021 examination, issued notice to the respondents and posted the matter for next hearing on October 11, 2021.
Meanwhile, in a recent development, the Delhi High Court granted permission to one Dr. Snigdha Kamini, a similarly placed OCI cardholder medical practitioner, to apply for NEET-SS 2021 examination.
The Indian Government, on March 4, 2021, issued a notification specifying the rights to which an OCI cardholder will be entitled, wherein Clause (4) (ii) provided that the OCI cardholder aspirants appearing for the all India entrance tests or such other tests are eligible for admission ‘only against any Non-Resident Indian seat or any supernumerary seat’ and ‘shall not be eligible for admission against any seat reserved exclusively for Indian citizens’.
In August this year, the NBEMS published the Information Bulletin in respect of NEET-SS 2021, wherein Clause 3.6, in accordance with the Government’s notification, stipulated that foreign nationals are not eligible as there is no reservation of seats in Super Specialty courses.
The petitions have been filed through Advocate Shivendra Singh, claiming that the petitioners, namely, Dr. Sudha Reddy Beravolu and Dr. Vadyala Akshita Reddy and Dr.Akkineni Krishna Prasad, have been residing in India since long and have also completed their Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) as well as post graduation studies from India. It is further claimed that the petitioners had been at forefront during the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.Alleging that impugned notification dated March 4, 2021, is a total deprivation of eligibility of the Petitioners to appear in the NEET-SS 2021, who were otherwise permitted to appear in NEET-SS until last year, the petitions state thus:“The deep and pervasive link of the Petitioners with the medical profession in India cannot be abruptly snapped after they have been permitted to read for MBBS (course with duration of five and a half years) and post-graduation (course with duration of three years) under a system which was well aware of the fact that they were OCI card holders.”“Even though the Petitioners had an opportunity to pursue their post-graduation elsewhere, they chose to stay here as they have strong roots in India and intend to make a career in the healthcare sector,” the petitions add.
In light of the above, the plea prays for restraining the Government and the NBEMS from giving effect to Clause (4) (ii) of the notification dated March 4, 2021, as also to Clause 3.6 of the Information Bulletin for NEET-SS 2021 examination.
The petitioners contended, “India is in dire need of healthcare professionals as evident during the COVID pandemic crisis and by the extremely poor Doctor-Patient ratio. The impugned notification would only demotivate healthcare professionals from staying back in India.”/ILNS/KR/SNG/