Last Updated on September 29, 2020 by The Health Master
CHENNAI: In a big setback for medical students attending college through online classes for the past six months in view of the pandemic, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has informed them that such classes are not recognised by the council.
The MCI has made the statement in reply to a representation made by students of SRM College and Hospital, Kattankulathur.
Informing the Madras high court about MCI’s stand, senior advocate R Vaigai said, “The MCI has informed the students that it does not recognise online teaching for medical courses. Students are worried about their future now.”
Vaigai made the submission on the batch of pleas moved by parents of the medical students challenging the college’s demand to pay full fees even for the lockdown period.
When the pleas came up for hearing, senior advocates T Ramanujam and A R L Sundresan, representing the college, submitted that the management has considered the representations of the parents and has decided to permit them to pay the fees in three instalments. “The first instalment of 40% of the total fee shall be paid by October 10 followed by two instalments of 30% each,” they said.
To this, Vaigai said that the MCI through a reply dated August 13 has informed the students that online classes are not recognised by it. The reply has put a question mark over the validity of the classes conducted by the college so far, she added.
Recording the same, Justice N Anand Venkatesh said if the MCI is not going to recognise online classes, then the whole point in conducting such classes becomes null and void.
Vaigai added that of Rs 22.5 lakh fee to be paid for the current academic year about Rs 3 lakh goes towards development charges and co-curricular activities. Since there is no scope for such activities Rs 3 lakh has to be waived and that the college can only claim the tuition fee of Rs 19.5 lakh.
“We are ready to pay 40% of the Rs 19.5 lakh with the extension of last date to pay such fee from October 10 to 30. The court must also consider fixing 75% of the last annual fee as a fee for the current year as done in the cases of private schools by the court,” Vaigai said.
However, noting that all such issues can be discussed and decided in the due course, the judge said it would be appropriate to start by paying 40% of the actual fee on or before October 29.