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Regulations barring persons with 80 pc disability from medical courses amended, MCI tells HC

twitter-logoPTI | March 20, 2019 | Updated 18:42 IST

New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) The PG medical education regulations that bar people with more than 80 per cent disability from being admitted to medical courses have been amended, Medical Council of India (MCI) informed the Delhi High Court Wednesday. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani was informed by the MCI counsel that those candidates who have a disability of over 80 per cent would be considered on a case to case basis after determining their functional competency with the aid of assistive devices. MCI said in an affidavit filed through advocate T Singhdev that with the prior approval of the central government it has amended the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000. The amendments include that "persons with more than 80 per cent disability may be allowed, on case to case basis, after determining their functional competency with the aid of assistive devices, if the same are being used, so as to assess if the disability is brought below 80 per cent and also whether they possess sufficient motor ability as required to pursue/ complete the medicine course satisfactorily". The court was hearing a plea seeking setting aside of the government notification in February barring people with more than 80 per cent disability from being admitted to medical courses. The court listed the matter for further hearing on July 29. The MCI also said that the Medical Counselling Committee (DGHS) vide its notice of March 15 has informed the candidates regarding the amendments to the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000. It has also informed that persons with disability candidates, who had been earlier found to be ineligible, since their locomotor disability was more than 90 per cent, would have to get themselves re-assessed from the designated disability centres so as to obtain a fresh disability certificate as per the amendment. They have amended the regulations which deals with the admissions of students with disabilities. Petitioner Mohd Shaloo, having a benchmark disability of 90 per cent, challenged the February 4 notification which made him ineligible to study medical course (NEET-PG, 2019). The petition, filed through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, said the decisions of MCI's board of governors and medical counselling committee to make Shaloo ineligible to study the medical course are not only highly irrational, arbitrary and discriminatory but also against Article 21 of the Constitution and various provisions of the Rights of person with disability Act. Shaloo is an MBBS doctor who has served as junior resident in RML Hospital and has cleared NEET-PG with a good rank. However, due to the MCI notification, he cannot do post graduation and has challenged the notification, the plea has said. It said the authorities have violated the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, which provides that no person with disability shall be discriminated on the ground of disability. On February 26, the high court had sought response of the Centre and MCI on a similar PIL seeking setting aside of the same, February 4, notification. The court had asked MCI and the ministries of Health and Social Justice and Empowerment to file their replies to the petition by April 4. The earlier plea was filed by Satendra Singh, an associate professor in the Department of Physiology at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, in which it was contended that the February 4 notification has been issued without any application of mind and was "highly irrational, arbitrary and discriminatory" It had argued that barring persons with more 80 per cent disability from taking admission in the medical courses violated their fundamental rights of equality and life guaranteed under the Constitution as well as various provisions of the RPWD Act, 2016. PTI SKV SA

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