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The life of Medical Students in the Pandemic; Order by Allahabad High Court for instructions

An order to obtain instructions from the respondents in the light of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs has been passed by the Allahabad High Court. Also, it has been ordered to bring the valid reasons behind the issuance of the impugned notification passed by the Additional Chief Secretary /Principal Secretary of medical education, Government of UP.

The Impugned notification was regarding the commencement of classes ensuring the physical presence of the Final Year MBBS students from the 29th of June, and of the first-year students from July 13. This Order was Challenged by the 1st petitioner who is a final year MBBS student at T.S. Mishra Medical College. Further, this order also states to conduct the 1st professional examination for the first-year students, which is due to be held coming August/ September. The teaching has been continued in online mode due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, so the Practical classes could not be held.

The uncertainty from the part of respected Authorities to address the serious issue of academic delay concerns the medical students. On one side, students worry about their academic future, while on the other side, the authorities are making the decisions and orders which are not pragmatic. this seriously is impacting the academic future and thus impedes the progress for further studies. The notification released by the Medical education of UP is really of idealistic nature, it is practically impossible for the students to be present physically in the class when the pandemic is ravaging around the entire country. This order also shows the prejudicial attitude towards the students who are from far away places from the colleges, for whom the physical presence is impossible.

The Learned Counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that the impugned order is inconsistent with the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the 29th of June, in the exercise of the powers under Section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Further, Paragraph 1 of the annexed guidelines provides that the school, colleges, and other coaching institutes would remain closed until July 31st. Paragraph 9 of the same guidelines also mandate that no states or UT's are permitted to dilute these guidelines.

On the other hand, The ministry of health and family welfare Medical Education Division, New Delhi had issued an order on 16th June that the Medical students cannot be compelled to perform the COVID duties, even concerning the final year students. Placing reliance on this order, the Learned additional Advocate General Sri Manish Goel contended the following:

  1. The Final Year MBBS students could be taught about COVID-19 management in theory and practice without assigning them with COVID duties. Such teaching should be done under the supervision of faculties in COVID health facilities.

  2. Forecasting coming Exams to be conducted for the final year students, practical classes is impossible since the classes are conducted online.

  3. Final year students after passing their MBBS course may be required in the future to perform the COVID duties.

  4. Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are referable to Section 10(2)(d) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The Learned Additional Advocate General is requested by the Hon'ble Court to bring on record the complete rationale behind the issuance of the impugned notification.

Further, Sri. Avinash Misra, who has accepted notice on behalf of the Medical Council of India, is granted further time to obtain complete instructions in the light of the controversy raised in the petition.

The Instructions thus issued should contain the alternative for their practical classes which is inevitable for medical students. It is high time to expunge the impugned order, and include the recommendations made by the additional Advocate General as the part of the instructions. Thus there should be proper issuance of instructions and guidelines to address the concerns of the medical students.

Find the Court Order below:

Download PDF • 40KB


Swathi. Ashok. Nair is currently pursuing Law from School Of Legal Studies, Cochin University Of Science And Technology

You can contact them on swathiashoknair555@gmail.com.

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