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Row over stipend: Foreign medical graduates cannot be treated differently: SC

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New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) The Supreme Court has said that foreign medical graduates cannot be treated differently and should be paid stipend during their internship like their counterparts who have done MBBS from Indian colleges.

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A bench comprising justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Prasanna Bhalachandra Varale took note of the submissions of lawyer Tanvi Dubey, appearing for a group of doctors, that foreign medical graduates in certain medical colleges are not being paid stipends during their internships.

The bench, on Monday, asked National Medical Commission (NMC) to produce details of three colleges with status of payment of stipend to foreign medical graduates.

The colleges are Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Medical College, Vidisha, Dr Laxminarayan Pandey Government Medical College, Ratlam and Employees State Insurance Corporation Medical College, Alwar.

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The court said it was paramount that stipend is paid and warned the colleges that the strictures will be passed if its earlier order on payment of stipend is not complied with.

"The medical colleges cannot treat MBBS and foreign medical graduates differently," the bench said and asked the NMC and the medical colleges to get back with the instruction on the issue.

Earlier, the top court on January 23 had sought responses from the NMC and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Medical College on a plea filed by five foreign medical graduates including Sajith SL of Thiruvananthapuram.

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Few other petitions are also pending on the issue.

The top court had taken note of the submissions of Dubey that the foreign medical graduates should be treated at a par with those who did MBBS from Indian institutions.

The lawyer had argued that these students are being deprived of their rightful claim of monthly stipend even when the notification issued by the NMC states that they be treated on a par with Indian medical graduates.

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"Issue an appropriate Writ... directing the Respondent No. 1 (medical college) to provide regular monthly stipend to the Petitioners and students part of list... for the entire period of their internship," the plea said.

It also sought directions to the NMC and others to determine the stipend to be paid to such students for the entire period of their internship as per the standards followed by other medical colleges.

These students are currently doing their internship at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Medical College in Vidisha.

The plea also referred to the November 17, 2022 notice of the Government Medical Education Department of Madhya Pradesh which provided for a stipend of Rs 12,760 to interns with effect from April 1, 2022. PTI SJK ZMN

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