In the last three months, two countries — Iran and Sri Lanka — have repeatedly written to the ministry of external affairs seeking its intervention for their students who have taken provisional admissions in Indian medical colleges.
This is a direct fallout of the Supreme Court judgment in May, which mandated every candidate to qualify the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission in a medical college.
Earlier, foreign students were admitted privately under the management quota in a college which the apex court scrapped this year. Instead, a single national exam, NEET, has been implemented.
“NEET permits only Indian, NRIs and overseas Indians to appear for it. Foreign students have no option,” said a senior official from the embassy of Iran.
“About 250 Iranian students will have to leave the country due to the apex court ruling,” he said.
The official said if the Indian government doesn’t do anything, the foreign students will lose an academic year. There are already about 2,500 students pursuing various courses in medicine in India.
A similar request has been made by the high commission of Sri Lanka. “Four students approached us and we wrote to the Indian government to take up their cases but there is no response yet,” said an official.
A senior official in the health ministry said, “The MEA has forwarded these concerns to the Medical Council of India and ministry of health but there seems to be no solution in sight.
“The government should approach the Supreme Court for a clarification,” the official said.
There is no data available with any authority on the total number of foreign students studying MBBS course in India. Experts say the government should make some room for foreigners to get global recognition.