SC notice on plea by foreign medical graduates seeking stipend for internship

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New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the National Medical Commission (NMC) on pleas filed by foreign students of eight medical colleges in Rajasthan and Ram Manohar Lohia institute here seeking stipend for internship like other Indian medical graduates.

A bench comprising Justices B R Gavai and K V Vishwanathan issued notice on the plea filed by Jaswant Singh and others.

"Issue notice," the bench said.

Advocate Tanvi Dubey, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that non-payment of stipend is a clear violation of their fundamental rights.

She said if several other colleges are paying stipend to foreign medical graduates, there is no reason for this discrimination.

The present petition has been filed by foreign medical graduates currently undergoing internship at government medical colleges including in Sirohi, Alwar, Dausa and Chhitorgarh in Rajasthan, she said.

"That in terms of the circular dated March 4, 2022 and May 19, 2022, issued by the National Medical Commission (NMC) it is categorically provided that the stipend should be provided in parity with the Indian medical graduates," the pleas filed by advocate Charu Mathur said.

The pleas said provision of stipend is governed under Clause 3 (Schedule IV) of the National Medical Commission (Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship) Regulations, 2021. The petitioners, it said, are entitled to regular stipend.

"The students were earlier under the presumption that they will be paid stipend for the period of their internship, in terms of the Regulation. However, they were shocked to note that when they joined the internship, they were forced to give an undertaking on an affidavit that the internship will be without any stipend.

"It was catch 22 situation for the students as they had no other option but to sign that undertaking. While joining the internship, they had no idea that they will have to incur huge day to day expenses including accommodation, travelling etc. They were surprised to note that even the expenses involved in rural posting was required to be incurred by them," the plea said. PTI PKS PKS SK SK