It is mandatory for students who wish to pursue their MBBS studies abroad to secure an MCI eligibility certificate. In other words, before they take the decision to leave the country, the MCI certificate has to be availed by the medical aspirants. Obtaining the certificate is also compulsory now for the students who are currently pursuing their MBBS course or a course equivalent in a foreign country.
The practice of the mandatory eligibility certificate was discontinued in October 2013 after noted irregularities. However, sources implied that securing an admission even though the students don’t possess the requisite qualification (as required in India) makes medical admission for UG courses abroad easy. This is the exact reason why MCI want to ensure that students are eligible for MBBS course abroad, so that when they seek to practice medicine in India they meet the basic eligibility criterion.
The MCI executive committee has taken a tough stance to implement this decision. Students who don’t take this certificate will later not be allowed to appear for the compulsory screening test to practice in India. This screening test is mandatory for MBBS grads to register with MCI and practice medicine in India.
Pursing medical UG courses is a common practice in India, as the country faces shortage in MBBS seats in comparison to many medical aspirants applying for medical colleges. China, Russia, Central America and Philippines are some of the countries where Indian students go to pursue their dream of a career in medicine. Also, seeking admission in medical colleges in these countries is not considered to be very competitive.
The council will also check the credentials of the medical college concerned, said a senior functionary in MCI to Tribune.
MD team had earlier reported that statistics of Indians pursuing under-graduate medical degree from foreign universities, required to complete their mandatory internship in India has shown a dip of 80% from 2005 to 2015. The National Board of Examinations has revealed the numbers stating that there is an 80% drop in number of Indian medical graduates, who are required to pass the compulsory screening test conducted by it. As a result of which students are suffering as they cannot work as doctors and are not even graduates till the time they don’t clear the test.
There are many students who have making desperate attempts to clear the test for long, even spending lakhs of money on coaching only to clear the screening tests. The rule has been framed in the Indian Medical Council Act, 2001 under which Indian citizens who pursue their UG degrees abroad will have to undergo a one-year internship in any medical college recognised by the MCI.
For this, they are required to pass the screening test which is held twice ever. The screening test is organised in English in June and December. The usual format is a 300 multiple-choice question, and a student is required to score a minimum of 50% to pass it. There are few foreign medical graduates who opine that the test is very difficult. One student who completed his medical degree in Ukraine in 2012 implied in his statement that many questions are from the PG medical test level. There are also new questions every time which appears to be out of the MBBS syllabus. However, the students have never been able to challenge it as the test is conducted online and there is no question paper.
Now, the government is also mulling over introducing a three-in-one exit MBBS exam which will include foreign graduates seeking to practice in India to take the exam. The separate exam (Foreign Graduates Medical Exam) will be done away with, so that PG medical entrance examination can be availed by foreign students as well.