Why NMC must support Indians aspiring to study Medicine overseas


National Medical Commission (NMC) warned Indian medical students against Avicenna International Medical University’s recognition in Kyrgyzstan, alerting them not to fall for a fake letter circulating on social media claiming the university was recognised by NMC.
The problem stems from the fact that NMC has not provided any authorized list giving out the name of approved international medical on its portal. Medical Council of India (MCI), which was the apex regulator of medical education till September 2018, displayed a list of foreign universities/institutions as approved/recognized by the authorities in several countries to ease the process for medical aspirants. NMC after taking reign from MCI disbanded the list, which is confusing the students as they are unable to information on fee structure and course duration.


NMC being a medical regulator must help the Indian students by offering correct information on the recognised colleges. Shikhar Ranjan, advocate and a former law officer, Medical Council of India (MCI) says, “NMC is a statutory authority constituted by the Central Government, has the power vested in it under which it must undertake an exercise for preparing a list of accredited foreign medical colleges. Young students do not understand the rules and often fall into the trap of agents. NMC need to act as the guardian of the Indian aspirants to save them from career damages due to half-baked information.”
Earlier, MCI used to write to Indian embassies and consulates abroad and through the information gathered through the diplomatic channels, the list was displayed on its official website, to help students take an informed decision while applying overseas.
“During MCI days obtaining an eligibility certificate was a must as per the Indian Medical (IMC) Act, 1956 (as amended in 2002) to study abroad. But in 2018 this was replaced by the requirement of qualifying NEET even for those wishing to go abroad for MBBS. Since then, qualifying NEET exam was the only requirement to get admission to foreign universities. The NEET scorecard serves as the eligibility certificate for appearing in the screening test for foreign medical graduates,” says a former MCI official on the condition of anonymity.
The NMC Act, 2019 has completely done away with the requirement of obtaining an eligibility certificate from the medical regulator.
Before the NEET score criteria, the admission mechanism followed by MCI was relatively simpler to get admissions to foreign universities. “MCI used to issue eligibility certificates after verifying the selected university’s name given by candidates desirous of pursuing MBBS from abroad. For instance, if the list sourced from a particular embassy does not carry a specific varsity’s name, then its certificate was not issued. This prevented students from selecting sub-standard varsities,” added the official.

No list causing chaos

Scrapping the list provided by MCI without introducing a new one is creating chaos. Anuj Goyal, co-founder, Get My University says, “The list published by MCI used to be updated frequently as the authorities would add a few new varsities and delist a few based on complaints against them. Currently, in the absence of this list, a great information vacuum is created. Students and their parents are forced to search for universities on their own. Understanding lengthy policies, interpret the technical terminologies related to the education system of different countries is adding to their woes.”

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