AIIMS Clinical Psychology PhD Degree not recognized: Delhi HC seeks response from Rehabilitation Council of India
New Delhi: In a recent development, the Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) to place its stand before the court and submit the reason for not recognizing the PhD degree in clinical psychology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The order of the HC comes after Dr. Angela Ann Joseph, a Ph.D. degree holder in Clinical Psychology from AIIMS approached the court with a grievance that her Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology degree from AIIMS has not been notified by the Rehabilitation Council of India under the schedule to Section 11(1) of the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992.
While serving notice to the Union of India, and RCI, the respondents in the case, the HC had also asked the RCI to place affidavits regarding their stand on the issue. The HC bench led by Justice Pratibha M. Singh, in the order dated 05.03.2021, had mentioned, "as the perusal of the schedule would reveal that even diploma courses are being recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India, and in the absence of a valid reason, it would be quite ironic if the Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from AIIMS, is not recognized in the said Schedule."
The petitioner had finished her graduation from The University of Windsor, acquiring the degree of Bachelor of Sciences, and thereafter had obtained a post-graduate degree in Masters of Science in Psychology (Clinical) from Christ University, in 2010. Thereafter, she pursued her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology' and graduated with a Ph.D. degree from AIIMS in July 2015.
Mr. R Satish, Mr. Mathan Joseph, and Mr. Rajesh Kr had represented the Petitioner before the court. The lead counsel for the petitioner, to argue the case, had relied on the definition of "Clinical Psychologist" under section 2(I)(g)(ii) of the Medical Health Care Act, 2017 which merely required a recognized qualification in Clinical Psychology. However, it needed to be approved and recognized by RCI.
Thus, the petitioner had prayed before the High Court of Delhi to give directions to RCI to notify and recognize the Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from AIIMS in its schedule to section 11(1) of the Rehabilitation Council of India Act.
After listening to the contentions by the counsel for the petitioner, the HC bench has asked the Centre, the RCI, and other authorities to place their stand on record within four weeks.
Meanwhile, since 27th October 2020, the Petitioner had also made a representation to the Government and to the Rehabilitation Council of India, which had been annexed with the writ petition before the High Court.
The Court had also directed the Ministry of Health and RCI to take a decision regarding the representation made by the petitioner within 30 days. Both these authorities have been asked to place a copy of their decisions regarding the matter on the record before the next date of hearing. The case has been next listed for hearing on 07.05.2021.
To view the original court order, click on the link below.