Denied NORI certificate by govt to pursue research in US, Doctor moves Gujarat HC vowing not to practice medicine
Ahmedabad: After being denied a No Obligation to Return to India (NORI) certificate by the Union government , a doctor willing to pursue her career in medical research in the US has now approached the Gujarat High Court.NORI certificate is essential for the doctor for the visitor exchange programme in the US. So, without the certificate it would not be possible for her to stay in the US...
Ahmedabad: After being denied a No Obligation to Return to India (NORI) certificate by the Union government , a doctor willing to pursue her career in medical research in the US has now approached the Gujarat High Court.
NORI certificate is essential for the doctor for the visitor exchange programme in the US. So, without the certificate it would not be possible for her to stay in the US and pursue her research work.
Claiming that the Central Government's decision is because of its anti-brain drain policy, the doctor has now expressed her willingness to surrender her licence to the medical council and not practice medicine in the future.
Vowing not to practice medicine in the US, the doctor has also submitted before the High Court bench that she wants to pursue medical research only.
After considering the matter during the preliminary hearing, the HC bench of Justice Vaibhavi Nanavari has now issued notice to the Centre in this regard and sought a reply within April 25, 2023.
Also Read: Health Ministry releases revised guidelines for issuance of NORI, Statement Of Need, Exceptional Need Certificates
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, hailing from the Bharuch district, the doctor is a medical researcher in the US. She completed her MBBS from MS University in Vadodara back in 2018 and obtained her registration from the medical council. Thereafter, she got a job with the research institute of Northwell Health. At present, she is working as a researcher of medicine at an institute in Auburn Hills, Michigan, as a part of a research scholar programme.
The concerned doctor had gone to the US for the visitor exchange programme on a J-1 visa and therefore it was mandatory for her to show the US authorities a NORI certificate from the Indian Government.
However, when Dr. Varma applied for the NORI certificate from the Union Government, the Union Health Ministry refused issuing an NOC back on September 20, 2022. At that time, the Union Health Ministry had stated that the doctor does not fall in the NORI category.
Since her further stay and continuation of research work in the US would not be possible without the NORI certificate, the doctor approached the Gujarat High Court bench seeking relief.
Advocate Abhiraj Trivedi, the counsel for the doctor referred to the anti-brain drain policy of the Centre and submitted that the decision of the Central Government denying to issue a NORI certificate is a result of that policy.
Pointing out that the Central Government had formulated the policy to deal with the shortage of doctors in India, the doctor's counsel argued that Dr. Varma vows not pursuing medical practice in the future and only pursue medical research.
It was further submitted that since the doctor is willing to surrender her licence to medical council to ensure that she does not practise medicine in future, the counsel for the doctor argued that her activities in the field of medicine cannot be treated as brain drain from India.
Medical Dialogues had reported back in 2021 that while considering a similar case, the Bombay High Court had made an exception for medical research scholars by granting NORI certificate to a 27-year old doctor who wished to pursue research and settle down in the US after obtaining a green card.
Directing the Centre to issue a NORI certificate to the doctor, the HC bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and R I Chagla had clarified at that time that the Union government's policy of not issuing a NORI certificate to medical degree holders wishing to obtain a Green Card in the US, cannot be made applicable to research scholars who don't intend to practice medicine.
Also Read: Non-practising doctors engaged in research should get NORI: Bombay High Court