Madras HC orders MCI to raise qualifying marks for studying medicine abroad

CHENNAI, OCTOBER 1: The Madras High Court has passed an order requiring medical aspirants to sore at least 80 percentage in their 12th to be eligible to study medicine abroad. As per the High Court’s order, the Medical Council of India(MCI) cannot issue the eligibility criteria to students if they score less than 80 percentage in the 12th qualifying exam. Currently, the qualifying percentage for students to be issued the eligibility criteria is 50.

Only 15-20 per cent foreign medical students qualify FMGE

The HC decision is expected to raise the bar for quality of students going abroad to puruse medical programmes. Currently, less than 20 per cent of foreign medical students manage to clear the screening test, Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE). Indian students, who pursue medicine abroad, are required to clear the FMGE to practice medicine in India. According to Justice N Kirubakaran, only 15-20 per cent foreign medical students have managed to clear the FMGE in the last 10 years in India. “This would only make one to understand that the minimum marks of 50 per cent prescribed by MCI has to be revised and higher marks have to be prescribed,” the Judge has been quoted as telling a news agency. Justice N Kirubakaran, hence opined that raising the percentage requirement to 80 from 50 could be helpful in filtering quality students.

“When students who secured more than 95 per cent in the qualifying examination are unable to get seats for pursuing medicine in India, how are candidates with 50 per cent marks in the qualifying exam allowed to get admission in foreign medical colleges,” the judge asked.

What does MCI say?

The MCI’s counsel pointed out that before the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) was introduced, to get the eligibility students where required to score 50 per cent in Physics, Chemistry and Biology together.

Since, a one-time exemption has been given to these aspirants for 2018-19, the body’s earlier requirement would stand for this session.

The MCI has earlier made qualifying NEET compulsory for students planning to study medicine abroad. However, students who appeared for NEET and did not get the qualifying marks would not be allowed for the same.

In a notification published later, the body gave a one-time exemption to students who had not registered for NEET 2018 to study abroad under the 5 per cent criteria.

NEET is a national-level medical entrance test to be taken by students aspiring to study medicine in Indian colleges. According to reports, over 13 lakh students took the exam in 2018. Of this, 5,80,648 were males and 7,46,076 females.