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SC pulls up NMC after plea claims 70% colleges don’t give stipend to MBBS interns

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday, October 26 pulled up the National Medical Commission (NMC) for the delay in furnishing its reply to a plea alleging that 70 percent of the medical colleges in the country do not pay any stipend to MBBS interns.

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A bench, headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Mishra, asked the Union government and NMC to furnish the tabular information within a period of six weeks relating to payment of stipend paid to medical students during their internship as part of the fulfilment of five-year MBBS degree course.

The bench also allowed impleadment of the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi as a respondent party.

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In an earlier order, the court had asked the MNC to explain if the statement that 70 per cent of interns are not paid stipends is true and sought information as to what steps the Commission is taking to ensure compliance with the norms for payment of internship stipends.

Interns from the Army College of Medical Sciences in Delhi petitioned the Supreme Court, through advocate Charu Mathur, after they were not paid any stipend in terms of the National Medical Commission (Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship) Regulations 2021.

The medical college, managed by the Army Welfare Education Society, argued that fees for medical education are fixed by the State Fee Regulatory Committee and it has reduced the fee for the current academic year to 3,20,500 from Rs 4,32,000.

“The interns are required to be paid a stipend during the period of internship. The mandate of the regulations adopted by the National Medical Commission cannot be breached,” said the top court in an order passed on September 15.

It had directed the Army College of Medical Sciences to pay a stipend of Rs 25,000 per month to each of the present batch of interns from October 1 and said that the medical college will continue to do so on a monthly basis.

To commensurate the financial burden, the Supreme Court had asked the Army College of Medical Sciences to move the State Fee Regulatory Committee with a statement of likely financial impact consequent upon the payment of the stipend.

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