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Disabled students can now study medicine, discriminatory MCI guidelines set aside

Disabled candidates who aspire to study medicine in India have been facing hurdles due to the discriminatory admission guidelines set by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

This may change as the Health Ministry has decided the MCI guidelines must be changed.

The ministry has come up with an amended version of the guidelines for admission of disabled students to MBBS and presented it to the court.

So far the MCI has been framing the rules that decide which category of disabled students are eligible for admission to the MBBS courses in the country. In most cases the guidelines have been found to be outdated, impractical, and in violation of the RPWD 2016.

Activists have been raising this matter before the government for quite some time now. Students too had filed pleas alleging discrimination against people with disabilities when it comes to medical education.

Dr Satendra Singh who is a member of the Delhi Medical Council has been consistently raising his voice about this issue. Dr Singh, along with 75 doctors under the platform, Doctors with Disability - Agents of Change submitted a petition to the government to make frame admission rules that were disabled-friendly and non-discriminative.

The petition by Dr Singh rejected the MCI guidelines and called for the rules to be reframed based on ability and not disability.

The amendments made to MBBS admission rules by the government is a landmark step and a victory for disabled students and activists. The amended guidelines will open the doors of medical education in India for students with visible as well as invisible disabilities, such as dyslexia. - Dr Satendra Singh

It seems the efforts have paid off and under the order of Supreme Court, the government has made its own admission guidelines, a major victory in the fight for equal rights for people with disabilities.

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