Equivalent to Intermediate Course (10+2): MBBS

On 16/02/2021, division bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in Civil Appeal No. 390 of 2021, titled Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences Vs. Srikeerti Reddi Pingle & Ors., has decided a question of law relating to interpretation of some provisions of MCI Regulations, wherein, the student/respondent had applied for admission for the MBBS/BDS course during the academic year (AY) 2020-21. Her application was not rejected on the ground that she had not furnished proof of study of Biological Science subject in the qualifying examination (10+2 or equivalent).

The respondent student then secured a letter from the Consulate General of India in New York, stating that she had successfully completed the 12th grade from one Conrad High School, West Hartford, Connecticut and that it was equivalent to the Pre-University (Two Year Course) New Intermediate University and the 12-year Senior Secondary Board Examination Certificate of India. She has also got a certificate issued by the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education, which declared the equivalence and informed that the 12th class/senior secondary examination of the West Hartford Board of Education, Connecticut USA was equivalent to the Intermediate Examination conducted by the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education.

The student approached the High Court and was permitted to participate in the counselling process conducted for the remaining seats without prejudice to her rights. University has challenged the said decision of High Court.

Hon’ble Court has held that, “A careful reading of the sub clauses (a) to (f) of Regulation 4(2) discloses that the MCI emphasized that the candidate should have undergone study at the 10+2 stage, (or in the intermediate course) in the specified subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Bio-technology. In this case, the certificate relied upon by the student merely clarifies that she undertook a course whilst in the 10th grade. That, by no means, is sufficient to fall within the description of “equivalent” qualification under Regulation 4(2)(f). Nor, in the opinion of this court, can it be deemed adequate having regard to the letter of the Assistant Principal of Conrad High School that the AP course in Biological Sciences is of college standard. It would be, in this context, necessary to clarify that the equivalence relied on by the Telangana Intermediate Board in this case, merely alluded to the general equivalence in terms of education at the intermediate level, without stipulating whether the qualifications were equivalent in terms of the subjects in which she undertook courses for the relevant years.”

The court further held that, “In the opinion of this court, there is a rationale and compelling logic on the part of the University to say that the candidate should have studied biology or biological sciences (apart from the other two science subjects, along with the further requirement of having studied English) in all the relevant years during the intermediate or at 10+2 level.

Hon’ble Court has further held that, to be eligible, the candidate should produce clear and categorical material to show that she underwent the necessary years of study in all the stipulated subjects. This court is of the opinion that such stipulations are to be regarded as essential, given that the course in question, i.e., MBBS primarily if not predominantly, involves prior knowledge – both theoretical and practical, of senior secondary level in biology or biological sciences.