Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court, while hearing a case, has said that prior knowledge of both theoretical and practical senior secondary level biology is essential for admission to the MBBS course, reported Live Law.

As per the report, a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat observed that mere equivalence in qualification is not the requirement. The apex court further said that the Medical Council of India regulation requires equivalence in "standard and scope" in an examination, in which the candidate is tested, in physics, chemistry, and biology including practical testing in these subjects, along with English.

The Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences had refused to grant admission to a candidate saying that there was no proof that the candidate had studied biological sciences in the qualifying examination. The candidate had then filed a plea in the Telangana High Court. After taking note of the equivalence certificate issued by the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education, the Telangana HC had said that refusing admission is illegal.

According to the report by Live Law, the university then approached the Supreme Court, contending that Regulation 4(2) of the Medical Council of India Regulations on Graduate Medical Education states that not only on the equivalence of the qualification with respect to 10+2, but the student should also have passed Std 11 and 12 in those subjects, as well as passed 10+2 with English as a subject.

The apex court set aside the Telangana HC's judgement and said that the candidate must produce clear and categorical material to show that the candidate underwent necessary years of study in all the required subjects.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday came to the rescue of 11 first-year students of MBBS, who were barred from taking examination on account of shortage in attendance. The SC directed AIIMS, Gorakhpur to conduct a separate test for them without insisting on "minimum attendance" for the academic session 2019–20.

The AIIMS, Gorakhpur students had been barred from taking the annual examination as they could not fulfil the criteria of minimum attendance in classes, which were held online during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The same bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat took into consideration the problems faced by the students due to the pandemic, and asked the management of AIIMS to hold "the test without insisting on minimum attendance."

"They shall be permitted to next year in case they clear the test," the bench said, adding that the order will not be considered as a precedent.

The plea had been filed by student Shashank Shekhar through lawyer Mathews Nedumpara; later, other similarly situated students had joined.

"The Petitioner on the declaration of lockdown had to leave the college and return to his home in Bihar like other students in the last week of March 2020, since physical lectures were called off due to lockdown," the plea had stated.

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