New Delhi – The Supreme Court came down heavily on the National Medical Commission (NMC) over reports that close to 70% of medical colleges across the country were not paying stipends mandated to MBBS trainees. A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra said the NMC seemed to be doing nothing even as young doctors were made to work 16-20 hours a day in conditions akin to bonded labor.
SC Comes Down Heavily on National Medical Commission
New Delhi – The Supreme Court came down heavily on the National Medical Commission (NMC) over reports that close to 70% of medical colleges across the country were not paying stipends mandated to MBBS trainees.
Bench Says Young Doctors Being Made to Work Like Bonded Labor
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra said the NMC seemed to be doing nothing even as young doctors were made to work 16-20 hours a day in conditions akin to bonded labor.
The remarks came when a lawyer reiterated the allegation that 70% of medical colleges were defaulting on payment of stipend to MBBS trainees, which is mandatory during their final year apprenticeship.
Court Questions NMC’s Role as Regulator
The court asked what the NMC was doing as a regulator when private medical colleges, despite collecting hefty donations and capitation fees from students at the time of admission, were not paying the mandatory stipend.
The NMC counsel sought some time to gather information and furnish relevant details to the bench, which the court agreed to.
Notice Issued to Delhi Government
Meanwhile, the apex court took note of submissions by Army College of Medical Sciences in the capital that no fee regulatory authority has been set up in Delhi to deal with such matters. It issued notice to the Delhi government in this regard.
NEET UG Exam Sees Huge Participation
The NEET UG exam is held every year for admission to MBBS courses and sees huge participation from aspirants.
Supreme Court Demands Answers from NMC
The Supreme Court has demanded that the NMC provide answers about the non-payment of stipends to MBBS trainees across many medical colleges in the country.
Failure to Pay Stipends Termed ‘Bonded Labor’
The court slammed the lack of stipend payments as being akin to “bonded labor” and questioned why the NMC was not taking action as the regulatory body.
NMC Given Time to Gather Information
When faced with these accusations, the NMC counsel requested more time to gather information to present to the court. The bench agreed to provide additional time.
Delhi Medical College Highlights Issues
In the same hearing, the Army College of Medical Sciences in Delhi brought up the lack of a fee regulatory authority in the capital.
No Authority to Handle Fee Issues
The medical college stated that with no local authority in place, issues like stipend payments could not be adequately addressed.
Court Issues Notice to Delhi Government
In light of this, the court issued a notice to the Delhi government demanding an explanation and plan of action.
NEET Exam Important for Medical Admissions
The discussion highlights the importance of the NEET-UG exam taken by millions of students each year for admission into medical colleges across India. The quality of education and training at these colleges is now under scrutiny.
The court case continues and the NMC and Delhi government have been asked to provide responses on this pressing issue soon.Share With Your Friends