NMC issues advisory to all medical colleges on conduct of final MBBS examinations during COVID-19 pandemic
New Delhi: Through a recent notification, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has issued an advisory to all the medical colleges concerning the conduct of final MBBS examinations in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The advisory comes in pursuance of the several representations received by the apex medical regulator seeking guidance for the conduct of final MBBS examinations for MBBS course considering the unprecedented situation due to the pandemic.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the NMC has advised that all final MBBS examinations be conducted by the concerned universities as per their scheduled timeline while following the existing protocols of the exam conduct during the pandemic. Further, the regulator has specified the allotment of examiners throughout the examinations timeline.
According to the advisory signed under the authority of Dr Aruna V. Vanikar, President of Undergraduate Medical Education Board of the National Medical Commission, it is directed to all the universities:
"The universities must try to adhere to the existing norms.Considering the risk stratification of the areas where the Medical Colleges/Institutions are located, if the external examiners are not available from outside the state due to the pandemic, at least one examiner must be called from outside the state to conduct the exams online.The other external examiners may be invited from the same Health University who is to remain present physically.The internal examiners must conduct the exams physically in the same premises."
"If there is shortage of clinical material, the same may be replaced by simulating material/case scenarios including provision of supporting material like x-rays, CT scan, ECG, lab reports, etc.," the NMC advisory adds.
Appointment of Examiners:
A. Universities must in the first instance try to adhere to the existing norms regarding External examiners as provided for in Regulations for Graduate Medical Education, 1997 (Part I, Clause 13) and Part II, Clause 11.2.9 (for batches admitted from 2019-20 onwards).
B. If option A is not feasible, Universities are advised to follow one of the following options with respect to External examiners for the MBBS examinations considering the risk stratification of the areas where the Medical colleges/institutions are located, if External examiners are not available from outside the state due to the pandemic:
i. External examiners to be selected from a different University in the State. These External examiners have to be physically present at the venue of the examination.
ii. In case of States having all the medical colleges under the same University i.e. State Health University, Medical Colleges may engage External Examiners from any other college under the State Health University, Both of such External Examiners should be physically present during the examination.
Evaluation of Theory Papers in University Examination.
There have also been requests seeking clarification on the number of examiners required to check the theory scripts during the university examinations, as the existing Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997 Clause 13 is unclear on the matter.
It may be noted that the Graduate Medical Education Regulations (Amendment), 2019 in Clause 11.2.9 (j) states as under: -
"(j) All theory paper assessment should be done as Central Assessment Program (CAP) of concerned university".
Even though this amendment was applicable for MBBS batches admitted from academic year 2019-20 onwards, Universities may adopt the clause mentioned above for conduct of examination of MBBS batches admitted prior to academic year 2019-20 also.