New Delhi: The Physical disability students have finally managed a one up on the apex medical education regulator, which for years has been stringent about consenting or agreeing to the degree and nature of disability agreeable to it with regards to their medical admissions.
A severe Supreme Court ruling passed in August, and the new disability rules have led the Medical Council of India (MCI) to take a decision to allow 21 categories of even the severely disabled candidates to appear for the next year’s graduate and post graduate medical courses; a significant shift in its policy indeed.
The categories to be included under the new physical disability policy are hearing impairment, dwarfism, intellectual disability, locomotor disability, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, low vision and blindness reports HT.
The MCI, Secretary, Reena Nayyar speaking to HT informed that a decision to implement the revised disability law in totality had been taken at the Council’s General Body meeting on October 31.
“The ministry of social justice and empowerment is in the process of framing rules to specify medical job roles for different categories of disability,” she informed.
The MCI in the past-allowed candidates with only below 70% disability of the lower limbs to study medicine, though the condition was in violation of all disability-related laws in the country. This resulted in students waging individual legal battles for medical school admissions.
The argument put forward by the council was that individuals with severe disabilities were not good enough to study medicine.
At its October meeting, the Council keeping in mind the changing times and resultant progress made by science came to the conclusion that it did not seem rational anymore to debar the disabled from becoming doctors.
The Ist disability law written in gave 3% reservation in education to people afflicted with 7 kinds of disabilities,; though the legislation was viewed as not quite complete by many experts. Instead, the law was observed more as a contravention by many.
The prevailing law was further strengthened with the raising of the quota to 5% and an increase of category by another 14.
A Supreme Court reprimand earlier this year brought the Council to look at things a bit differently.
In August, a thalassemia student was granted admission in a medical college by the apex court, which came down heavily on the MCI, as well, asking it to implement the law in its spirit, that of social justice.
“We constituted a committee headed by Dr Ved Prakash Mishra. The committee recommended complete implementation of the act,” a top MCI official said.
“The committee felt that such discrimination doesn’t exist internationally so we should allow them in the medical profession for the sake of social justice,” he further added.