The Medical Council of India (MCI) announced on Tuesday via a circular that exams are compulsory for students before they are promoted to the next level of studies in the field of medicine (MBBS). They also need to complete the first University exam as soon as possible. Furthermore, emphasis should be placed on finishing the pending supplementary examinations for final-year MBBS students scheduled in the first half of 2020 at the earliest. In the course of this, University exams for the second and third (Part -1) MBBS students may have to be delayed by two or three months beyond their scheduled dates.
The Board of Governors (BoG) added that universities should aim to complete the year’s course and hold exams within two months of colleges reopening as permitted by the Central, State, and Union Territory in the circular. The students need not wait for the formal reopening of the colleges as they need to join medical colleges or hospitals for their internship as soon as they pass final year examinations.
At the same time, the Council announced on Wednesday that it would be relaxing norms for appointing external examiners for undergraduate medical courses in 2020. It gave allowances to universities in appointing examiners from other universities within the state or even via video conferences. It means that essentially, universities can have external examiners from a different University but also physically present at the exam venue. If that is not feasible, half the examiners may be physically present during the examination and the other half through video conferencing.
The BoG issued a notification on Wednesday saying that the relaxation in these provisions has been granted in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, examiners are appointed from other states. In the notification, the Secretary-General of the BoG, Dr. R K Vats clarified that these measures had been taken “considering the risk stratification of the areas where the medical colleges or institutions are located, and the examiners are not available from outside the state.”
The provisions have been made after considering the suggestions received from students, colleges, universities regarding the reopening of medical colleges and conducting examinations.