NMC snubs Indian Embassy in Philippines and denies aid to over 10,000 students

The National Medical Commission (NMC), which regulates medical education in India, has rejected a request from the Indian Embassy in the Philippines to relieve more than 10,000 medical students.

These Indian students took a bridging medical course in the Philippines from 2019 as new NMC regulations invalidated their studies.

The Indian Embassy in Manila in the Philippines requested NMC to grant special exemption to these students but it was denied.

The plight of the students began on November 18, 2021, when the NMC enacted the Graduate Medical Education Abroad Licensing Regulations 2021. One of its conditions stipulates that the duration of the MBBS course that the students who are going to follow abroad must have a minimum duration of 54 months.

In the Philippines, medical education is offered in two parts – BS Biology is an 18-24 month course followed by the 48 month Doctor of Medicine (MD) course.

Students wanted to know if BS Biology and MD together would be considered one course. The Embassy wrote to the NMC who, in their letter dated December 7, 2021, provided their clarifications and stated: “…the BS Bridge Course of 1.5 to 2 years prior to the MD Course will not be included in the calculation the duration of the course.”

The NMC also said its regulations will not affect students who were admitted to medical courses before November 18, 2021. However, it refused to grant the same relief to students who were taking medical courses. BS biology.

On December 10, 2021, the Indian Embassy raised the matter in another letter to the NMC and wrote: “The Embassy is of the view that special dispensation may be considered for students currently attending courses degree in the Philippines to avoid academic and financial losses. to them,” wrote Vishwanjali Gaikwad, Second Secretary (PIC) at the Indian Embassy in Manila.

“Several of these students, who benefited from admission in 2018/2019 or later and are affected by new guidelines have written to the Embassy asking for clarification on this aspect,” the letter adds.

Almost after two and a half months, on February 22, 2022, the NMC reiterated its regulatory provision and refused to grant a waiver.

Dr. Aruna V Vanikar, Chairman of Under Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) of NMC responded and said: “After the publication of the Gazette notification of 18.11.2021 i.e. FMGL 2021 regulations of the NMC, students who have already admitted into a medical qualification/course which is not equivalent to the MBBS course in India, cannot be treated as an eligible qualification for registration to practice medicine in India.

The students have already challenged both the regulations as well as the clarification regarding the BS Biology course in the Delhi High Court, which notified the NMC in both cases.

“I don’t understand the logic of the NMC. He says those who were admitted to medical programs before the regulations were enacted on Nov. 18, 2021, will get protection and their studies will be recognized. But those who were admitted to the BS Biology course before November 18, they will not get any protection,” said Pravin Yadav, a student taking the BS Biology course in the Philippines.

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