Can FMGE Exam 2021 Be Postponed amid COVID-19 pandemic? Opinions

Issues concerning Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) 2021 will be discussed tomorrow in Court. Several associations have moved to Delhi High Court seeking postponement of the examination or a one-time exemption. Here're the opinions concerning the verdict.

By Rohit Sindhu, Updated : Jun 10, 2021 11:17 IST
Can FMGE Exam 2021 Be Postponed amid COVID-19 pandemic? Opinions
Can FMGE 2021 be Postponed amid Pandemic? Opinions, Photo: Representative

The National Board of Examinations has scheduled the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) 2021 exam for Indian and Overseas Citizens of India on June 18. FMGE is a licensing examination, required to be qualified by all those Indian citizens/OCIs who have completed their pre-medical qualification from an institution outside India and wish to practice in India.

A plea was filed in Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking postponement of the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) which is scheduled for 18th June. The Bench of Justice LN Rao and Justice Aniruddha Bose on June 1, 2021, had issued notice and directed the Centre to reply within 2 weeks. The petition was filed by the Association of MD Physicians through Advocate Astha Sharma. 

The Supreme Court on Friday, June 11 will hear a plea seeking induction of Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) in the healthcare workforce of the country to augment the ailing healthcare system. The petition will be heard on Juny 11 before the vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and MR Shah.

Postpone FMGE 2021, students launch Twitter campaign #postponeFMGE2021

Citing the prevailing COVID-19 situation, FMGs sought centre to either postpone the FMGE exam that is scheduled on 18th June or given the students a 'one-time exemption', which could pave way for their induction into the healthcare workforce amid pandemic. High Court hearing the plea asked how many students out of 18000 want a postponement of this exam FMGE June 2021.

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The top court indicated that it was not inclined to grant exemption from taking the FMGE 2021. The observation came on a plea filed by the Association of MD Physicians & two other associations seeking a direction mandating the induction of FMGs in the healthcare workforce of the country. 

Can FMGE 2021 be postponed? What FMGs say

High Court hearing the plea asked how many students out of 18000 want a postponement of this exam FMGE June 2021. In response to Court's order here's what aspiring FMGs say-

"Foreign medical graduates could be the answer to this shortage of doctors. Our demand is that the FMG qualifying scores be reduced so that more meritorious students can clear the exam. FMGs already have the training and experience of handling patients. In fact, they can also help manage patients in rural areas and they are also ready to work on a non-payment basis. Their commitment towards the country is unshakeable. Our suggestion is the recruit FMGs for Covid duty on an ad hoc basis, only meritorious students should be included and they could be posted in rural areas and permanent registration to be awarded for them after completion of their one-year duty," Dr. Ashish Mahendra a member of the Dental Council of India said. 

"Employing foreign medical graduates at a juncture when the country is facing a dearth of doctors and staff would be of good help to the fraternity," Dr. Mahendra added.

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"Postpone try to understand Corona is not over yet students have to travel long to reach to the centre's and every possible chance being getting infected," tweeted Dr. Upendra Kumar Pathak.

Court's Hearing Tomorrow, on 11 June:

Delhi High Court will be hearing tomorrow, on June 11, 2021 the plea filed by the associations demanding postponement of FMGE 2021 or a 'one-time exemption'. It is expected that a decision on the examination would be made after deliberations, all possible options and opinions in mind.   

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