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Months after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) and external affairs ministry to review its stand to see if students who study medicine in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh (PoJKL) could be allowed to practice in India, the country’s top medical education regulator has refused for the same.
In a public notice (pdf) issued on August 10, MCI has barred doctors with degrees from colleges situated in the “illegally occupied parts of India” to practise modern medicine in India.
In the notice, the board of governors (BoG) in supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI) said that the entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh is an integral part of India and that Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the territory.
The notice issued by Dr R K Vats, the Secretary-General of the BoG, read: “Accordingly, any medical institution in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh (PoJKL) requires permission and recognition under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. Such permission has not been granted to any medical college in PoJKL”.
“Therefore any qualification obtained from medical colleges located within these illegally occupied areas of India shall not entitle a person for grant of registration under Indian Medical Council Act 1956 to practice modern medicine in India”, the notice said.
J and K HC asks MEA and Medical Council of India to clear its stance
In December 2019, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had asked the Ministry of External Affairs and Medical Council of India (MCI) to decide and inform the citizens of India about the status of educational institutions “operating in the territories of India under occupation and the administrative control of Pakistan.” The decision would help students and citizens understand the legal standing of qualifications and degrees from such institutions, said the HC while hearing a petition filed by one Hadiya Chisti who had completed her MBBS from Benazir Bhutto Medical College from Mirpur area of PoK.
“The Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs and Health Ministry then examined the matter and informed the high court that medical institutions in areas of PoJKL have not been granted permission and recognition under the Indian Medical Council Act,” a senior official with knowledge into the matter said.
“The high court had asked Government of India to publicise this fact so that students are not misled in obtaining medical qualifications from institutions in PoJKL,” the official explained.
While many leftist Indian media houses like India Today have shamefully parroted Pakistan’s stance on Pok, the government of India has repeatedly conveyed in plain-spoken terms that the entire Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, have been, are, and will be an integral and inalienable part of India.