For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser.

Supreme Court issues notice to Centre, National Medical Commission on mandatory internship for China-educated medical graduates

Supreme Court issues notice to the Union government and the National Medical Commission (NMC) on a petition filed by 70 China-educated medical graduates challenging a circular that made a two-year internship compulsory for them
01:15 PM Jan 17, 2023 IST | India Legal
supreme court issues notice to centre  national medical commission on mandatory internship for china educated medical graduates

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Union government and the National Medical Commission (NMC) on a petition filed by 70 China-educated medical graduates challenging a circular that made a two-year internship compulsory for them.

The orders were passed by a Bench of Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Vikram Nath 

A batch of petitions have been filed in the Apex Court by Indian medical students studying in Ukraine, China and Philippines, seeking to continue their education in India.


The top court of the country had segregated the pleas made by China-graduated students  from others on November 29, as they had resorted to online education in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and not because of any war-like situation, which was the case in students educating in Ukraine.

Filed by Advocate Gopal Singh, the plea raised grievance with a public notice dated July 28, 2022, specifying that foreign medical graduates who graduated on or before June 30 that year have to undergo a two-year Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship (CRMI) to make up for any incomplete clinical training abroad.


As per the petitioners, while they had completed their MBBS education from China in 2020, the CRMI rule was now being made applicable to them as well, leading to various State Medical Councils revoking certificates needed for their medical practice.


They further said that NMC’s actions were contrary to the principles of equity and fair play, as well as the doctrine of legitimate expectations. They pointed out that while the notice read ‘prospectively,’ it was being applied ‘retrospectively’.


They argued that rules of the game were changed after the process began.

The petitioners contended that their fundamental rights under Article 14, 19 and 21 were being violated due to the manifestly arbitrary actions of the respondents as additional practical obligations were being imposed on a retrospective basis.
Singh pointed out that the notice had directly disentitled qualified doctors from joining the mainstream and indirectly created a ‘sub-optimal situation’ vis-à-vis the ‘already strained’ national medical infrastructure.


He said the petitioners were not on the same plane as other foreign medical graduates seeking relaxations on account of the closure of universities in 2020-2021, but rather at a ‘vastly’ superior pedestal.

The Counsel further said that the present writ petitioners had completed most of their course offline and even enrolled as practitioners during the Covid-19 pandemic, undergoing the minimal number of hours of online training due to pandemic-related disruptions.

As per the plea, most of the petitioners had performed their task beyond the call of duty, including but not limited to doing internship during the second and third wave of Covid-19. They doubled up as the first line of medical defence and first responders during a time when the National medical infrastructure was under severe strain, added the petition.

The Counsel contended that passing a verdict in the students’ favour would benefit the respondents as a large pool of doctors would ensue. This would help address the skewed doctor-patient ratio in India and improve the outreach of medical services, he added.

He further said that the current state of things might mean that the petitioners have been barred from appearing for postgraduate competitive exams like NEET.

As per the plea, the respondents were barred by the estoppel principle as the graduates have acted in compliance with laid-out norms.

Advocates Shivam Singh and Shaswati Parhi appeared for the petitioners.

(Case title: Gurmukh Singh and ors vs National Medical Commission and ors)

Tags :