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No provision for transfer of students studying abroad to Indian varsities: Govt

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 22-07-2022 Anonna Dutt
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Two months after the West Bengal government allocated seats for practical training to 412 medical students who had returned from Ukraine to the state, the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharti Pravin Pawar told the Lok Sabha that there were no provisions in the Acts governing medical education to allow such transfers. “Therefore, no permission has been given by the NMC to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students in any Indian medical institute or university,” the minister's reply read.

“As informed by National Medical Commission (NMC), the regulatory body of medical education in the country, no such information is available with them,” when asked about whether 400 students were accommodated by the West Bengal government in state universities. All admissions to MBBS seats – even the 85% seats under the state quota – happen according to the ranks of the students in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET).

The Indian Express had previously reported that officials from the NMC were very clear that no such permission had been sought or granted. And, students who complete their education in such a manner will not be eligible to appear for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE), without which no medical student from foreign universities – barring from a few countries like UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia – have to appear for the exam and pass it in order to practise in India.

As a concession for the on-going war and the pandemic, the undergraduate medical board has proposed a one-time relaxation for the final-year students to complete their practical training in India and sit for the FMGE. They would need to complete two years of internship in the country to be eligible for permanent registration.

Currently, foreign medical graduates have to complete their training and a one-year internship at the university they are enrolled in order to appear for the FMGE exam in India. They then have to do a one-year long internship in India as well in order to get permanent registration. This proposal is yet to be accepted by the Union Health ministry and the Supreme Court where a case is underway.

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