The National Medical Commission is actively considering allowing final year medical students who returned from Ukraine and China to complete their education from their parent universities online and then take the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam (FMGE) here, official sources said. The concession, being planned to help Indian students forced to cut short their studies due to the war in Ukraine and the pandemic in China, will be a one-time measure, they said.
Students who clear the FMGE may be allowed to do an internship in accordance with Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship (CRMI) regulations for two years instead of one year, the NMC's Undergraduate Medical Board (UGMEB) has said in a proposal to the Health Ministry. The doubling of the internship period is aimed at overcoming the deficit in clinical and practical skills training. However, first and second year MBBS students from Ukraine and China are unlikely to get any relief. The UGMEB has suggested they appear for the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) exam for admission to a college in India according to their merit, an official source said.
Explaining the proposal, he said students across years may be allowed to go to a foreign country to finish their course if they don’t agree to the UGMEB plan. "CIS countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Romania have already shown their willingness to allow the continuation of studies for the candidates affected by the global crisis in their countries," the source said. NMC regulations issued last year mandate that undergraduate courses need to be completed from a single institution/university to appear for FMGE. About 40,000 students studying medicine in Ukraine and China have returned home.
An MBBS degree is for five-and-a-half years -- nine semesters over four-and-a-half years and one year of internship. The UGMEB, a source said, has stated it is not feasible to accommodate or transfer these medical students from different Institutes in Ukraine to Indian medical colleges to complete their qualifications due to several reasons. The NMC is of the view that the course curriculum of foreign medical qualification is not in sync with what is prescribed under the Indian medical education system and also not at par with its standard.
The UGMEB has also cited non-availability of adequate infrastructural facilities and faculties in Indian medical colleges/institutes to train additional number of medical students from outside. Deliberations in the NMC and Health Ministry began after the Supreme Court on April 29 directed the regulatory body to frame a scheme in two months to enable MBBS students affected by war and pandemic to complete their clinical training in medical colleges here, the source told PTI.
At present, there are no norms under NMC regulations to accommodate Indian students pursuing medical courses abroad who had to return home midway through their academic session.