The Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has informed the Bombay high court (HC) that it is awaiting the policy of the state government for conducting final-year exams of postgraduate medical students after a student approached the HC seeking directions to the authorities to declare dates and conduct final-year exams of MD and MS courses. The state on Thursday informed the court that as students and examiners were involved in Covid duties, a policy was being framed to ensure that the future of the students did not suffer.
A division bench of justice SJ Kathawalla and justice VG Bisht while hearing a petition filed by Dr Nishant Gabbur through video conferencing was informed by advocates Vishwanath Patil and Kewal Ahya that Gabbur, who is from Akkalkot, Solapur and is pursuing MS (general surgery) at Seth GS Medical College in Mumbai, had appeared for the entrance test held for DM/MCh conducted by the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh on June 21. Patil submitted that Gabbur had stood second in all India ranking in general category for neurosurgery and had been granted a provisional appointment/ admission letter by the institute on June 30. After Gabbur informed the institute that he was facing a difficulty in joining the course, it allowed him to join by July 6.
Patil further submitted that Gabbur and another student Ajinkya Rewatkar who had secured a seat in AIIMS, Delhi for MCh Neurosurgery wrote to MUHS seeking to secure their future, but as there was no response Gabbur was left with no option but to approach the HC. “The petitioner is caught in a dilemma and a situation beyond his control as the MUHS has decided to postpone graduate and PG examinations that were scheduled on June 18. MUHS has not resolved the situation, thereby hanging the career of petitioner at jeopardy with risk of losing one precious year and the entire process of preparation and reappearing for entrance tests.”
Patil submitted that there were hundreds of postgraduate medical students like Gabbur who were placed in a similar situation, and hence the court should issue directions to MUHS to ensure that the future of such students was secured.
Assistant government pleader Jyoti Chavan submitted that as postgraduate students were involved in Covid-19 duties, the government was framing a policy for conducting final-year exams for them and meetings are being held for the same. Chavan then sought time on the grounds that the process involved preparation of schedule ensuring that all safety norms were adhered to and said the state would inform the court about it in the next hearing.
After hearing the submissions the court observed that all steps taken by MUHS and PGIMER would be bound by the decision of the court and posted the matter for hearing on July 16.