A bio-medical research scientist from Kandivli — who was forced to return to India from the US as the authorities in Mumbai did not grant him the No Obligation to Return to India (NORI) certificate — has approached the Bombay High Court against the decision of the authorities concerned.Scientist Sunil Nooti (39), in his petition filed through advocate Rahul Totala, has said he has been working with the University of Kentucky’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics since 2013. On December 28, 2015, he was forced to return to India after the Union health ministry rejected his NORI application, claiming he was an MBBS graduate and therefore a doctor.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To plug the skewed doctor-patient ratio in the country, the health ministry has since August 2013 stopped issuing NORI certificates to doctors, except those above 65 years of age. While medical students are permitted to study abroad, stopping the NORI certificate will force them to return after their course and practise in India.The petition states the authorities have incorrectly rejected his application as he is not studying or practising medicine in the US, but is a scientist. His requests on three dates — March 4, April 6 and May 23 this year — yielded a response that NORI was denied by both the HRD and the health ministries, based on “extant policy guidelines” framed by the Union health ministry.Nooti had moved to the US in 2011 to pursue post-doctoral courses in physiology and biophysics. He later joined Kentucky University as a post-doctoral scholar in 2013. From 2011, he lived on the J1 visa, which expired in five years.Since a similar petition was filed by the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) opposing the guidelines in the Aurangabad bench of the high court, Totala said he would be moving a transfer plea seeking that his petition be clubbed with that filed by MARD.

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Mumbai: Scientist refused NORI certificate for being a doctor