No Stay on FMGE June 2021: Bombay HC asks NMC to submit affidavit on legality of test
Mumbai: Observing that the purpose of including the entire syllabus of undergraduate medical course is to find out whether the students have acquired knowledge in the earlier years, the Bombay High Court has recently refused to grant any interim relief to the Foreign Medical Graduates by staying the FMGE exam scheduled to be held on June 18.
However, the division bench comprising of Justice Nitin Jamdar and justice CV Bhadang has listed the matter after two weeks and has granted the National Medical Commission (NMC) time to file an affidavit to respond to the issue of the legality of the test which has been challenged in the petition.
The Court held that as the FMGE screening test was intended to test the knowledge acquired by the candidates over the entire undergraduate medical course and because of the fact that this criterion was approved by the Union Government, the NMC (erstwhile Medical Council of India), and the National Board of Examinations (NBE) back in 2004, it was not inclined to stay the test.
This comes after a group of medical students across the country under the banner of the All India Medical Students Welfare Forum challenged the syllabus of the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) in a petition and sought interim relief in the matter and requested the Court to postpone the test till the grievances of the petitioners were addressed.
As per the latest media report by Indian Express, the petitioners submitted that the syllabus for the screening test comprised the entire syllabus for MBBS curriculum, instead of just the syllabus of the final-year. This was causing a problem for the foreign medical graduates who have pursued their medical education from outside of India including countries like China, Ukraine, etc.
On the other hand, the counsel appearing for NMC, Advocate Ganesh Gole submitted before the Court the minutes of the meeting held in June 2004. It was approved by the Union Government and the authorities including MCI, and NBE. He further contested the challenge to the legality of the petition and informed the Court that the test was in consonance with the 2004 decision.
Hindustan Times adds that the counsel for the NMC and NBE further submitted that the objections raised by the petitioner Forum had no ground at all as the test had been conducted every year with thousands of students appearing in it and clearing it to start their practice.
Further seeking two weeks time to respond to the issue of legality, Advocate Gole appearing for NMC urged the Court not to stay the test. In this regard, he informed the Court about the recent decision of the Delhi High Court which had rejected the plea for postponing the examination.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported that the Delhi High Court had dismissed the plea by foreign medicos seeking postponement of the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) by one month.
After hearing these contentions, the division bench of Bombay High Court observed, "Our prima facie reading of the minutes shows that the decision regarding the test was taken not to have syllabus at the level of postgraduate examination, as the difficulty level would be high. According to us, the scheduled test will be carried out to find out if students have acquired knowledge of earlier years of course to reach final year."
Posting the matter for further hearing after two weeks, the HC bench clarified, "we are not inclined to grant any relief".