NMC guidelines: confusion for Ukraine and China return doctor aspirants 

Innumerable Indian students pursuing medicine who moved out from Ukraine after it was seized by Russia as well as China during the COVID-19 pandemic, carry on with their confusion regarding completion of their degrees. 

The NMC (National Medical Commission) has provided circular stating guidelines for such foreign medical students. However, this has led students to be even more astonished. In the guidelines, the NMC has stated that “doesn’t approve mobility programmes”. This statement meant that if a few universities of Ukraine decided to shift their operations in adjacent countries like Poland or Latvia, or pay court to tie-ups with universities outside Ukraine, then the regulatory body of India will not consider the degree obtained by the students continuing classes in the newly formed location.

Moreover, students were not sure about such a rule presented by the NMC as their licence totally depend on FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduates Examination), which is a screening test managed by NBE (National Board of Examination). Another point of regulations stated about no ‘restrictions’ on transfers to different college excluding the first year students who has started their course after November, 2021.

NMC announced that, students of final-year will be permitted to take the following FMGE in December because they have to get their “certificate of completion of course/ degree by their respective institute” on or before June 30, 2022.

Nevertheless, majority of students got their certificates on 10th of July. They were scared thinking that they would have to wait for the next FMGE in June, 2023. This exam is conducted twice in a year. In addition, NMC has stated that the students will not be boarded in in any medical colleges of India. 

A final year student of medicine from Ukraine who is recently pursuing programme on observership in Kerala hospital said that NMC is not allowing boarding of students in medical colleges of India. Another student said that his university is being shifted to Poland or Latvia because of the war. But the NMC has announced rejection of mobility programmes.

Almost 20,000 Indian students had been disturbed when the war broke in the month of February. 23,000 students from China were in India due to visa restriction of Beijing in early 2020. However, the foreign ministry of China has announced that they are working on a visa policy which is absolutely new for international students and also claimed about getting guidelines from China Government.

Terror of time loss

The students have terror in mind thinking about their loss of two semesters. 

A student from Vinnitsa National Medical University in Ukraine said that there are many problems in transfer process according to NMC. This meant that they have to go to Ukraine or pay excessive fees to agent to retrieve the transcripts. The students are getting depressed thinking about their loss of one and a half years. The students want to begin their practical classes which are crucial for them. A student of Nantong University in China was disturbed by the unresponsive behaviour of the authority and did not get the transfer certificate. Another student from Hubei University of Medicine has said the standard of online classes has been deteriorated. 

Uncertainty regarding FMGE

The NMC has permitted the final year students to sit for FMGE in December, those who have received their certificates prior 30th June. However, a student from Hubei University received the certificates after the mentioned date. The student said that majority of them have received the certificates on 10th of July but the NMC has not sent any information about their accommodation. If no notice is being given, then the students have to waste 6 months and take the exam in June, the following year.

In July, around 250 students has staged a protest outside the office of NMC in Delhi over detain of the decisions taken by the authorities on the procedure of boarding of the students.

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