The Hyderabad High Court has recommended that the Central government and Medical Council of India (MCI) review the Graduate Medical Education Regulations 1997 and do away with the minimum age of 17 years, which is compulsory for admission into MBBS course.
Earlier a petition was filed by Venkata Dheeraj of Guntur District who had studied a course equivalent to MBBS from a foreign university. He wanted to write the eligibility test conducted by the MCI so that his degree could be recognised by the Indian Medical Association. However, the MCI rejected his eligibility certificate to attend the screening test of the National Board of Examination stating he had not complete 17 years of age when he joined MBBS.
This case of the petitioner was rejected on the ground that he had not applied for eligibility certificate before commencing the MBBS, that he had not completed 17 years of age when he joined MBBS.
Petitioner’s counsel Y Balaji submitted that the date of birth of his client was Sept 13, 1992. He said that he took his SSC examination with the permission of the erstwhile AP government in 2005 as a private candidate.
Thereafter, he completed his Intermediate in 2007 and appeared for EAMCET in 2007, in which he did not succeed. Later the petitioner got admission in International University of Health Sciences in West Indies. The university gave admission to him in its branch attached to a college in Guntur.
The counsel said that his client applied to the MCI on April 28, 2010, for the eligibility certificate which is mandatory under the MCI Act. Meanwhile, his client continued his studies and completed his course. It was only in 2015 that the MCI communicated to the petitioner stating that his application was rejected.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait , the judge who allowed the petition ordered the authorities to allow him to write the eligibility test and suggested to the authorities concerned to reconsider the issue of age limit of 17 years.
While allowing the petition, Justice Suresh Kumar said, “The regulations are of the year 1997 and now we are moving towards e-courts, paperless courts and appreciating any of the citizens of this country, who does some out of the routine or anti-stream. Even in sports, boys and girls aged 16 and 17 are bagging medals for their respective countries.
In that case, we appreciate and celebrate that at such a young age, he/she has attained this position. In such a situation, the age of 17 years for admission in MBBS has no meaning.”
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait , then ordered the MCI to issue eligibility certificate to the petitioner. This must be done within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order. He also directed the registry to send a copy of the same to the Secretary, Public Health System Centres, GoI so that talented students may not face the difficulty faced by the petitioner.