NMC Modifies Advisory On Conduct Of MBBS Exams After Re-Open
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Through a recent notification, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has announced a modification in the advisory pertaining to the Relaxation in Provision for the conduct of Examination in the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 (GMER) after the re-opening of medical colleges post COVID-19. This earlier released advisory also dealt with the appointment of external examiners in the universities.

The advisory was pursuant to several representations received by the apex medical regulator seeking an extension of the given relaxations. On the Evaluation of Theory Papers in University Examination, the advisory had mentioned the Graduate Medical Education Regulations (Amendment), 2019 in Clause 11.2.9 (j) , which states as under: - "(j) All theory paper assessment should be done as Central Assessment Program (CAP) of the concerned university".

According to the advisory, the amendment was only made applicable for MBBS batches admitted prior to and from the academic year 2019-20 onwards. Now, making a modification to the aforementioned advisory's applicability, the recent NMC notification signed under the authority of Dr Sandhya Bhullar, NMC Secretary has clearly clarified:

The following statement is deleted from the above-mentioned advisory through this circular "Even though this amendment was applicable for MBBS batches admitted from academic year 2019-20 onwards, Universities may adopt the clause mentioned above for conduct of examination of MBBS batches admitted prior to academic year 2019-20 also."

The NMC has further made it clear:
The Regulations on Graduate Medical Education (Amendment), 2019 shall apply only to Under Graduates batches admitted from the academic year 2019-2020 onwards, while the unamended Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 shall apply to the Under Graduate batches admitted until the academic year 2018-19.

Meanwhile, on the Appointment of Examiners, the advisory had said:

A. Universities must in the first instance try to adhere to the existing norms regarding External examiners as provided for in Regulations for Graduate Medical Education, 1997 (Part I, Clause 13) and Part II, Clause 11.2.9 (for batches admitted from 2019-20 onwards).

B. If option A is not feasible, Universities are advised to follow one of the following options with respect to External examiners for the MBBS examinations considering the risk stratification of the areas where the Medical colleges/institutions are located, if External examiners are not available from outside the state due to the pandemic:

i. External examiners to be selected from a different University in the State. These External examiners have to be physically present at the venue of the examination.

ii. In case of States having all the medical colleges under the same University i.e. State Health University, Medical Colleges may engage External Examiners from any other college under the State Health University, Both of such External Examiners should be physically present during the examination.