SC: Equivalence of Subject, Standard & Scope Mandatory for Admission to MBBS, Not Academic Qualifications
The Supreme Court, in Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences vs. Srikeerti Reddi Pingle & Ors., has declared that a medical aspirant essentially requires to have secondary level knowledge in biology for pursuing MBBS.
The appellant, Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences denied admission to the aspirant on the grounds that the respondent produced no material submissions that established her background of pursuing a course in Biological Sciences during the qualifying examination. The applicant, in response, filed a writ with the Telangana High Court that held the denial of admission illegal.
The appellant-university further went on to move the Supreme Court laying emphasis on the Regulation 4(2) of the Medical Council of India Regulations (MCI) on Graduate Medical Education, that asserts the eligibility of a student for pursuing a degree in medicine.
The Court on reading of Regulation 4 concluded that it lays stress on certain common features: (a) that the candidate should have passed the examination with Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Bio-technology; (b) the candidate should have undergone practical tests in those science subjects (c) the candidate should have studied English and, lastly, (d) that marks obtained in Mathematics would not be taken into consideration for deciding admission to the MBBS course.
The Court thus refused to consider the letters submitted by the student which certified that the qualification obtained by the student was equivalent to 10+2 in India and that Advanced Placement (AP) course undertaken by her is equivalent to a first-year degree qualification in Biology. The Court found that there is rationale in there is a rationale and compelling logic on the part of the University to say that the candidate should have studied biology or biological sciences and observed as under:
A careful reading of the said provision discloses that the MCI emphasized that the candidate should have undergone study at the 10+2 stage, (or in the intermediate course) in the specified subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Bio-technology. In this case, the certificate relied upon by the student 7 merely clarifies that she undertook a course whilst in the 10th grade. That, by no means, is sufficient to fall within the description of “equivalent” qualification under Regulation 4(2)(f).
The Court also rejected the rejected the argument on equivalence of qualifications and while laying emphasis on equivalence of subjects, held as under:
The equivalence in qualification is not merely at the level of a 10+2 requirement, i.e., that the candidate should have passed an examination equivalent to the intermediate science examination at an Indian University/ Board. Additional to this requirement, Regulation 4(2)(f) requires equivalence in ‘standard and scope’ in an examination where the candidate is tested in Physics, Chemistry and Biology including practical testing in these subjects, along with English. These subject matter requirements are consistent across Regulations 4(2)(a) to (e) and (f).
The Court allowed the Appeal and finally held that a candidate desirous to pursue MBBS must show that he has primarily if not predominantly, acquired prior knowledge – both theoretical and practical, of senior secondary level in biology or biological sciences, as they are essential stipulated subjects.
Sourabh Singh | Research Intern | EduLegaL
‘Equivalence’ has been a vague area in Indian Education System, with cases every now and them reaching Courts for proper interpretation. In absence of any prescribed guidelines, the discretion used either by the employer / educational Institution is often challenged in the Court, more so in respect of foreign qualifications.
It is the need of the time to reduce unwarranted litigations and lay down certain parameters to determine equivalence of qualifications. This will also help in eliminating any possibility of abuse of discretion vested in the employer / educational Institution and will obviously reduce the burden on judicial system.
Ravi Bhardwaj | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.edulegal.org