Students contended that all medical universities should follow MCI rules

The Madras High Court has quashed the guidelines issued by the Tamil Nadu Dr.MGR Medical University insofar as they insisted on individual pass mark in every theory paper of the subjects of the MBBS course.

At the 216th meeting of its governing council on January 10 this year, the university resolved to approve the minimum marks pattern for MBBS degree course, except the first year course for February 2013 examinations.

Students aggrieved by this mark pattern filed writ petitions. They submitted that all medical universities in the country should strictly follow the MCI regulations. They submitted that from 2009-2010, the university had introduced a different mode of distribution of marks contrary to MCI regulations.

For instance, as per the MCI regulation for obtaining pass in ‘General Surgery,’ a student should obtain 50 per cent in theory, including oral and 50 per cent in practical (clinical). But as per the university’s guidelines, the practical/clinical examination in General Surgery had been divided into two separate branches. Though as per the MCI regulations, the total marks for practical/clinical was fixed as 100, the university stipulated the total marks for practical exam as 150. Because of the guidelines, several meritorious students failed, the students said.

As per MCI regulations, for a pass, in each of the subjects a candidate should obtain 50 per cent in aggregate with a minimum of 50 per cent in theory including orals and a minimum of 50 per cent in practicals/clinicals.

Allowing the petitions challenging the guidelines, the First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan said an exactly similar situation arose before the First Bench earlier wherein the court categorically held that the guidelines were inconsistent with Regulation 12 (4) of the MCI regulations and the same could not be stated to be prescribing higher standards. A perusal of the present guidelines showed they were similar to those challenged earlier and it was nothing but old wine in new bottle.

The matter in issue was squarely covered by the court’s earlier decision. The Special Leave Petitions were also dismissed by the Supreme Court. Therefore, it was not open to the university to say that since MCI took the stand that the impugned guidelines would not be in conflict with the Central Regulations, it was entitled to implement them.

The court made it clear that it would not say that there should not be improvement in the standard of medical education. Unless an in-depth study of the entire procedure was done by the MCI, the guidelines could not be implemented in the light of the court’s earlier decision. The guidelines were unsustainable in law, the Bench said.

  • The guidelines insist on individual pass mark in every theory paper of subjects

  • The varsity has introduced different mode of distribution of marks contrary to MCI rules: students