Returning medical students are given a preferential opportunity to pass tests

Returning medical students are given a preferential opportunity to pass tests

Undergraduate medical students who were enrolled in foreign universities but had to leave their studies early because of the Covid pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war in their penultimate year will be given a special break and allowed to sit for exams for their remaining two years of coursework using the Indian curriculum and become qualified to practice after completing the required internship period.

The Supreme Court approved the one-time concession on Tuesday while reviewing a number of petitions submitted by students who had returned from the Philippines, China, the Ukraine, and other countries and were asking the court to grant them permission to finish the rest of their studies in India. The majority of these students finished their coursework online, which neither the Center nor the National Medical Commission acknowledged (NMC).

On December 9, 2022, the top court asked the Centre to consider the matter on humanitarian grounds because it involved the careers of more than 500 students whose courses technically ended after they completed at least three semesters of online coursework and who could not return to their universities. This was in response to NMC's principled stance that granting entry to the petitioners would be unfair to local students.

In accordance with the directive, the Center submitted an affidavit on Monday in which a committee of experts, including representatives from NMC, the Union ministries of home, external affairs, and health, and chaired by the director general of health services, agreed to give candidates who returned in their penultimate year of study one chance to pass the MBBS Part I and II examinations.

"We accept the findings of the Committee since we do not feel it suitable to meddle with experts' opinions," the justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath's bench said. The requirement of passing the exams on the first try, however, was deemed a tad severe by the court. The court observed, "In our opinion, there may be certain situations beyond the control of students that may prohibit them from participating in the test," allowing applicants to appear again for the Part 1 and Part 2 of the MBBS exams.

After passing their Part 1 and Part 2 theoretical and practical MBBS exams, students will be qualified for a two-year internship, after which they will be qualified to take the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam (FMGE), a screening exam needed for international medical students to practice medicine in India.