Centre’s, Delhi govt’s stand sought on PIL against nursing courses for only women

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the stand of the Centre and city government on a petition challenging provisions allowing only female candidates to apply for admission to B.Sc (Hons) Nursing courses offered by AIIMS, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and Delhi University.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Mamohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna issued notice on the public interest litigation by the Indian Professional Nurses Association and asked the governments as well as the institutes and Indian Nursing Council to file their replies within four weeks.

Advocate Robin Raju, appearing for the petitioner, said the petition challenged the gender-based eligibility and that in view of the shortage of nurses in the country, persons of all genders should be permitted to apply to the course.

The plea said the petitioner was a non-governmental registered body working for the welfare of nurses across India and was “moving the instant petition to highlight the concern that even today male and third gender candidates are facing discrimination in the admission process laid out by nursing colleges that are affiliated with respondents.”

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The petition said denying all genders except females the opportunity to study B.Sc (H) nursing course in premier and affordable nursing colleges of Delhi was arbitrary and against the principles of democracy, fairness and equality.

“The classification created only entitles female candidates to a specific B.Sc. (H) Nursing course on the basis of a rule that does not consider the present day realities. The rule completely discards the fact that there is a dearth of nursing professionals in the country and hence prohibiting non-female candidates from getting admission to B.Sc (H) Nursing course is also against the interest of the public at large,” the petition said.

The matter would be heard next on February 19.

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