Two months ago, the West Bengal government allocated seats to 412 medical students who had returned from the war-torn country Ukraine, for practical training. However, Dr Bharti Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, recently told the Lok Sabha that the Acts provided no provisions to allow such transfers for continuing their medical practice here. The minister’s reply to the LS stated that the National Medical Commission (NMC) has given no permission to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students to any of the Indian medical universities or institutes.
When asked whether these students were accommodated by the state govt in state universities, the minister said that the NMC had informed that there is no information available regarding this subject with them.
He added that all medical seats, even the 85% seats under the state quota, are granted according to the ranks of candidates in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET). Importantly, a report by Indian Express had earlier stated that NMC was neither approached with any such proposal, nor it cleared any. It also stated that those students who complete their education will not be given permission to sit for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE).
With FMGE, no medical students from any foreign university, apart from the US, UK, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia, can appear and pass it, for practice in India. However, due to the ongoing Ukraine crisis, the commission has made a proposal for one-time relaxation for final-year students to appear in FMGE. Under the suggestion, these final year students will be required to complete a two-year internship in India to have permanent registration.
As per current norms, foreign graduates are required to complete their training and undergo a one-year internship at the universities they are admitted to, to appear for the FMGE exam. After this, they are also required to do a one-year internship in India to get permanent registration. The Centre is yet to clear the proposal.