FMGE 2020: Last-minute changes by NBE on provisional pass certificates, leaving thousands of foreign medicos stranded
New Delhi: The last-minute change made by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) for FMGE June 2020 has led thousands of FMGE candidates into a dilemma. Foreign Medical Graduate Examination- Screening test (FMGE) is conducted, twice a year, in June and December for Foreign Medical Graduates to obtain a provisional or permanent registration with the Medical Council of India (MCI) or any...
New Delhi: The last-minute change made by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) for FMGE June 2020 has led thousands of FMGE candidates into a dilemma. Foreign Medical Graduate Examination- Screening test (FMGE) is conducted, twice a year, in June and December for Foreign Medical Graduates to obtain a provisional or permanent registration with the Medical Council of India (MCI) or any State Medical Council to practice in India.
According to the FMGE June 2020 norms, the candidates are required to upload their primary degree certificate, and not the provisional pass certificate or else they will not be eligible to appear in the examination.
This move of NBE has met with strong opposition from the candidates who have pointed out that this sudden move has been made without any prior notice creating uncertainty for them as those who completed their course last year and have only provisional certificates with them, will not be able to give the exam. Citing that this norm will force students to return back to respective foreign institutes to complete the internship and they will consequently lose at least a year in their studies, they have urged various authorities including the Medical Council of India, PMO office, NBE and the MOHFW to intervene in the matter to revert back the decision.
In clause 8.15 of the information bulletin, it has been clearly stated:
Primary Medical Qualification Degree certificate duly attested by embassy of India in the country from where the qualification has been obtained/apostilled in accordance with the requirements of Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 abolishing the requirement of legalisation for Foreign Public Document (Apostille Convention). Provisional Pass Certificates shall not be considered in lieu of Degree Certificates.Further, it adds that the said qualification has to be on or before the prescribed cut-off date - 31st July 2020
This norm has left thousands of students stranded because earlier they were allowed to appear for the exams on the basis of provisional certificates, now they are not and since the students don't possess the provisional degrees as of now, they won't be able to give the mandatory test.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues, one of the aggrieved students said, "The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare India will have to communicate with the foreign universities immediately to award degree certificates to the students, which is obviously not possible at such short notice. If that is not possible then at least the changes made are to be reverted back to the previous status of accepting the Provisional degree/pass Certificate"
The students have pointed out that since COVID 19, almost 95% of the students came back to India. Some students have passed in Dec 2019 and some in May 2020. "Even if the students get the degree certificates the procedure to get them duly stamped from the Indian embassy in China or other countries is going to take a full 1-month procedure. These students in the present situation can neither go to the respective countries for completion of their internships, nor they can do an internship in India till they pass the FMGE exam," a student said.
Many of the students have called the decision as unethical, inhuman and against the law. They said," How come all of a sudden NBE is allowed to change and implement new rules without considering the future of the students who have spent ample time and huge amounts of money to achieve their dreams?"
Another FMGE candidate said, "This sudden change in rules is going to have a major impact on us for a lot of us it doesn't even seem the possibility to go back to the respective countries and complete their internship and no University offers Degree certificates without an internship."
MBBS passouts from China-based Medical Colleges have requested the MCI to allow them to complete their remaining internship in India which they left in the middle in China amid COVID pandemic alert.
"Some of us have cleared the FMGE screening exam already and some will be writing the exam soon. But because we're not graduated as we haven't completed internship were not able to proceed any further. We are left here unconsidered, we want to do 4 months of remaining internship in India( at least for students who passed FMGE screening exam) and complete and get our graduations. Even the state medical council is not ready to give us provisional registration unless we wish to do a 1-year complete internship in our state. But that would mean we won't be able to graduate this year. We have already wasted 5 months. If we won't graduate this year soon we won't be able to write neet PG 2021 and many of our further study plans would be stagnant for another year or 2," another student told Medical Dialogues.
"Because we are not graduated and don't have provisional registration from India we're going allowed to practice in hospitals either. Like another Indian MBBS student we have studied 5 years and we have even qualified screening exam conducted by NBE, but still, we're not much taken into consideration," the students grieved.