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HC slams awarding grace marks to medical students, says patients would need grace of god

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    02 May 2018

The Madras High Court slammed the practice of awarding grace marks to medical students to allow them to pass in certain subjects. It said that patients would need to grace of god to be cured if this was allowed.

Justice S Vaidyanathan, in a recent order, said the citizens were taken for a ride by such practices.

If the students of ophthalmology were allowed to clear the paper with grace marks and if they were going to become doctors and perform surgeries, the patients would have to regain their eyesight only with the grace of the god, the judge said.

PLEA FILED BY THIRD-YEAR MBBS STUDENT

The statement was made while dismissing a plea filed by a third-year MBBS student of a private college in Puducherry, seeking grace marks to enable her clear the ophthalmology paper.

The student had sat for exams in three papers in June 2016 -- community medicine, ENT and ophthalmology - and had failed in the third. She sat for the opthamology paper again on November 2017 but failed to clear it again for three marks.

She had secured 29 marks in the theory paper of 80, instead of 32 required to pass.

Noting that up to five grace marks could be granted to a student as per the university rules, she sought a direction from the Pondicherry University to grant her the required grace marks to clear the paper.

WHY WAS THE PLEA REJECTED EVEN WHEN GIVING GRACE MARKS IS ALLOWED?

The MBBS students plea was opposed by Medical Council of India (MCI) counsel VP Raman.

He pointed out that clause 13(10) of the 1997 MCI regulations clearly state that "grace marks up to five marks may be awarded at the discretion of the university to a student who has failed only in one subject but has passed in all other subjects."

Thus, the students plea was rejected on the grounds that grace marks can be given only if a student fails in one subject among all the subjects and not if a student fails a single paper while attempting it a second time.

HERES WHAT THE JUDGE SAID:

Of course, appearing for the same paper again and again will undoubtedly make the candidate well versed in the subject.

Justice S Vaidyanthan

"She (petitioner) is certainly not entitled to grace marks in view of the above Medical Council of India Regulations cited supra. The Regulations will prevail and the first respondent university (Pondicherry University) is bound to follow the same," he said as per reports from The Hindu.

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