Supreme Court issues notice on plea of medical genetics society against allowing aspirants from non-clinical disciplines

The Supreme Court has issued notice today in a plea by the Society of Indian Academy of Medical Genetics challenging the eligibility criteria to the course of Doctorate of Medicine, Medical Genetics since it is allowing post-graduate aspirants from non-clinical disciplines of medicine.

A bench presided by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice B.V. Nagarathna observed that the plea though filed before the Delhi High Court was dismissed. It was added by petitioner’s counsel Sudhanshu S. Chaudhari that the same was dismissed since it was filed as a PIL without stating any view on the merits of the case. Chaudhari submitted that since another matter regarding NEET-SS eligibility criteria is being considered by the Apex Court, he preferred to file the petition before the Supreme Court rather than the High Court.

The counsel argued, “Earlier, the course was only confined to only 3 courses. As per NMC guidelines, there are only 3 courses wherein students from medical genetics can apply. Now, they have allowed it for everybody.” He further stated that someone who has post-graduation in anatomy or biology will not be able to treat patients. 

The petition also challenges the prospectus of the NEET-SS (2021-2022) published by the National Board of Examinations in consultation of the National Medical Commission to the extent of inclusion of aspirants from broad specialties to apply for the said course of DM/DrNB Medical Genetics as opposed to the recommended entries as per NMC Guidelines, 2021.

The petition states that the present eligibility criteria allow applicants who have pursued MD(Doctor of Medicine)/MS(Master of Surgery)/DNB (Diplomate of National Board) in any discipline to apply for the highest clinical course of Medical Genetics, whereas the recommended eligibility is limited to those who have pursued post-graduate degrees in General Medicine, Paediatrics or Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

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It is also mentioned that the premier institutes in the country viz All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGI), Chandigarh, who conduct their own entrance tests for selection to the same course, allow the applicants only from specific clinical disciplines.

The petition states that the distinction ineligibility by the MCI/NMC, and the PG Regulations, 2000 is totally irrational, arbitrary, and violates that constitutional right under Article 14. The petitioner is a society established in 2012 with the objective of establishing an Indian Academy of Medical Genetics to stimulate and support patient care, education and research in the field of Medical Genetics. The Society aims to promote Medical Genetics in India and ensure uniform standards with respect to proficiency in education, testing and treatment for genetic diseases.
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