Indian medical students from China, Ukraine now eligible for FMGE
The National Medical Commission (NMC) has given a one-time waiver to final-year medical students who have been forced to return from countries such as China and Ukraine due to the COVID-19 outbreak or war. The students are now eligible for the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam (FMGE), the screening test that foreign medical students must pass in order to practice in the country.
- The announcement comes only days after the Union Health Ministry rejected any relaxation for overseas students seeking to study at Indian universities.
- In response to a query in the current session of parliament, the ministry replied that "no permission has been given by the NMC to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students in any Indian medical institute or university."
As per the notice, students who have finished the courses and receive a completion certificate by June 30, 2022 will be eligible for the relaxation. "Upon qualifying the FMGE, such foreign medical graduates are required to undergo compulsory rotating medical internship for a period of two years to make up for the clinical training which could not be physically attended by them," it reads.
Following the announcement, foreign medical graduates will be eligible for permanent registration in the country only after completing a two-year internship. Currently, international medical graduates must complete their training and internship at the university where they are enrolled to become eligible for the FMGE test in India. They were then required to complete a one-year internship in India in order to get permanent registration.
As per The Indian Express, the NMC's undergraduate medical board proposed this move following the directions of the Supreme Court. Notably, the plan did not state clearly what students from other batches may do. However, officials stated that first and second-year medical students who started their college after November 2021 can reapply for NEET to secure admission to Indian universities.
As per reports, the change is unlikely to benefit many students due to the past status of the FMGE. According to data by the National Board of Examinations, only 16.5 percent of students who took the exam in 2020 passed it.