The Supreme Court (SC) on 25 March 2017 directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to form a committee of experts to examine the possibility of colour-blind people pursuing the MBBS course.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar also directed that the committee shall include experts from genetics, ophthalmology, psychiatry and medical education from AIIMS, New Delhi and PGIMER, Chandigarh. The committee is expected to submit its report within three months.
The bench also suggested MCI to appoint KV Viswanathan along with M Shoeb Alam for the assistance. The committee will also concentrate on diagnostic test for progress and review of the disorder and what are the available prosthetics aids to assist medical practitioners.
The committee shall also suggest the areas of practice that could be undertaken by colour-blind people without difficulty with these aids.
The bench noted that there were no regulations framed by the MCI which stated that a candidate for the MBBS course should be able to identify the three primary colours.
The court gave this direction while considering a plea by Pranay Kumar Podder and others, who were denied admission to the MBBS course at a Tripura college due to partial colour-blindness.
These aspirants also approached the High Court of Tripura and Agartala. However, the high court refused to interfere in the matter.
In their appeal, the appellants pointed out that there were no regulations framed by the Medical Council of India under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, debarring them from admission. These students were denied admission based on the recommendations of expert committee of Medical Council of India.
When: 25 March 2017