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NEET qualified student with low vision can enroll for MBBS course announced SC

By: Archana on August 30, 2018

A good news from Honorable Supreme Court for the students who wish to become a successful doctor in future but have issue with their vision, in a remarkable order SC has allowed a candidate suffering from ‘low vision' to get enrolled for MBBS in the condition if the candidate has cleared the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG 2018) and should have applied through the category of Persons with Disability (PwD).

NEET qualified student with low vision can enroll for MBBS A panel consisting of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Arun Mishra in their order announced that the “applicant cannot be denied admission to the MBBS course if they qualify as per his merit in the qualifying exam and applied in the category of Persons with Disability. In case the applicant fulfills the criteria of admission, he or she shall surely be given admission in the current academic year.”

Last year on 24th September a related concern raised when the two students in spite of having top rankings in NEET 2017 was not getting enroll for the desired MBBS course because of the ‘colorblindness', the supreme court in a remarkable order opened doors for those students to pursue MBBS in their desired institutes. This year a case was filed by the students who are suffering from a vision defect of low visibility and cannot be corrected. Medical Council of India (MCI) formed a committee who submitted their report on the scenario and stated that “Persons with the visual defect of 40 percent or more could not be admitted to the undergraduate medical course.”  The top court found the report not relevant enough.

A team of experts was formed consisting of 3 senior members from the ophthalmic department, and they were asked for their opinion on the issue. The experts in their report cleared that the petitioner's visual disability is under the Disabilities Act standards, but at the same time as per the guidelines of Medical Council of India (MCI), the applicants are not apt for taking MBBS as course.

The SC further on its judgment said that as per the Regulations of Medical Education, section 33 which is for a person with the disability under Medical Council Act, 1956 is in ordnance with MCI and is indissoluble. Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, underlines the provision that a “person with benchmark disability” i.e. “a person with not less than 40 percent of a specified disability(low vision in this case) and where specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms, their  specified disability will be defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority.”

The court also said that “The Committee pointed out that the petitioner, who suffers from a benchmark disability, his or her suitability for the MBBS course cannot override the Medical Education Regulations.”

Purswani Ashutosh, who challenged his disqualification from taking admission in MBBS course, he with help of a doctor and a senior advocate Mr. Govind had filed the petition against MCI and argument on the fact that as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 there is provision for reservation of 5% seats of total intake capacity for the person applying under PwD category. He has qualified the NEET UG 2018 and scored a rank of 419 under the category of Physically Handicapped. 

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