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HC refuses to stay June 18 ‘screening test’ for foreign medical graduates

As per Indian Medical Council Act and Screening Test Regulations, 2002, candidates clearing FMGE are eligible to be registered with state medical councils to practice medicine in India.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
June 15, 2021 9:34:12 pm
FMGENEET-UG 2021 is scheduled to be held on August 1. File.

The Bombay High Court refused Tuesday to grant a stay on the Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE), a ‘screening test’ to be held on June 18 for thousands of candidates, who have secured undergraduate (MBBS) medical degrees from institutes outside India.

The National Medical Commission (NMC) screening test, also called FMGE, is an examination conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) in India for foreign medical graduates. As per Indian Medical Council Act and Screening Test Regulations, 2002, candidates clearing FMGE are eligible to be registered with state medical councils to practice medicine in India.

A division bench of Justices Nitin M Jamdar and C V Bhadang was hearing a plea by the All India Medical Students Welfare forum, a group of medical students challenging the syllabus for the test. The petitioner has submitted that the syllabus for the test comprised the entire MBBS curriculum, instead of the final-year syllabus, causing difficulty for candidates, including those who completed courses from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan among other countries, appearing for it.

Advocate Ganesh Gole, for the respondent NMC (earlier known as Medical Council of India), placed on record minutes of a meeting held in June 2004 that were approved by the central government, then MCI, NBE and said the test was in consonance with the 2004 decision. Seeking time to file an affidavit in reply to the plea, Gole said there is no “irregularity or illegality” in the screening test scheduled on June 18.

Perusing a clause pertaining to exam criteria as per the 2004 decision and the test syllabus, the HC “prima facie” observed the June 18 test will be conducted with an intention to find out if students have acquired knowledge of earlier years of the medical course to reach the final-year level and, therefore, included syllabi of entire MBBS course.

HC refused interim relief in view of large number of students appearing for the test. It added that though the Delhi HC has postponed the hearing of a petition challenging the conduction of the exam in view of the pandemic, “we are not inclined to grant any relief”.  Seeking a response from authorities, HC posted a further hearing after two weeks.

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